Moderna provides a clinical update on Delta variant immunity

Moderna has announced new results from in vitro neutralisation studies of sera from individuals vaccinated with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine showing activity against variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Vaccination with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine produced neutralising titres against all variants tested, including additional versions of the Beta variant (B.1.351, first identified in South Africa), three lineage variants of B.1.617 (first identified in India), including the Kappa (B.1.617.1) and the Delta variants (B.1.617.2); the Eta variant (B.1.525, first identified in Nigeria); and the A.23.1 and A.VOI.V2 variants first identified in Uganda and Angola, respectively. These data were submitted as a preprint to bioRxiv.

“As we seek to defeat the pandemic, it is imperative that we are proactive as the virus evolves. We remain committed to studying emerging variants, generating data and sharing it as it becomes available. These new data are encouraging and reinforce our belief that the Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine should remain protective against newly detected variants,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. “These findings highlight the importance of continuing to vaccinate populations with an effective primary series vaccine.”

The study methodology was previously described in the letter to the editor published in NEJM on April 15, 2021 concerning the variants first identified in the U.K. (Alpha, B.1.1.7) and the Republic of South Africa (Beta, B.1.351) using serum samples from eight participants obtained one week after participants’ second dose of the primary series in the Phase 1 clinical trial of the Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine. These most recent data include neutralisation assays against additional variant strains. This additional analysis showed minimal impact on neutralising titres against the Alpha and A.23.1 variants relative to those against the ancestral strain (D614G). This analysis also showed a modest reduction in neutralising titres against the Delta (2.1-fold), Gamma (P.1, 3.2-fold), Kappa (3.3-3.4-fold), and Eta (4.2-fold) variants relative to those against the ancestral strain. Consistent with previous results, a 7.3 or 8.4-fold reduction in neutralising titres was observed with the additional versions of the Beta variant relative to the ancestral strain. Additionally, an 8.0-fold reduction in neutralising titres relative to the ancestral strain was observed with A.VOI.V2, the variant first identified in Angola, but currently not designated as a Variant of Concern or Interest.

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