Moderna booster candidate shows strong response against Omicron subvariants

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June 22 (Reuters) – Moderna Inc said on Wednesday its bivalent COVID-19 booster candidate showed strong neutralizing antibody response against the fast-spreading Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

The company plans to submit applications to regulators in the coming weeks to update the composition of its booster doses, which it believes may happen in the fall season.

Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel said the company is preparing to supply the booster shot starting August, ahead of a potential rise in infections due to Omicron subvariants.

The latest data showed that a month after administering a 50 microgram dose, levels of antibodies against the two subvariants rose more than fivefold above the baseline regardless of a prior infection, the company said.

The two sublineages, which were added to the World Health Organization’s monitoring list in March and designated as variants of concern by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, accounted for more than a third of U.S. cases last week.

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