This week in drug discovery (20-24 February)

News round-up for 20-24 February by DDW Digital Content Editor Diana Spencer. 

Our news highlights this week focus on research into vaccines, with good news for the treatment or prevention of various challenging conditions, including Covid-19, Strep A and HIV. Particularly interesting is the announcement that a new class of Covid-19 booster has outperformed approved vaccines in a head-to-head trial. 

The top stories: 

Covid-19 vaccination reduces risk of cardiac events 

Researchers have revealed that vaccination against Covid-19 is associated with fewer heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular issues among people who were infected with SARS-CoV-2. 

Funding injection for Strep A vaccine research 

A research effort to develop an mRNA vaccine against Group A Streptococcus (Strep A) has secured almost $8 million in funding. 

Pneumococcal vaccine gets go-ahead for infant trial 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared Vaxcyte’s infant Investigational New Drug (IND) application for VAX-24, its 24-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) candidate designed to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). 

New Covid-19 booster outperforms approved vaccines 

Covid-19 booster candidate UB-612 has achieved its immunogenicity endpoints in a head-to-head trial against three vaccine platforms: mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech’s BNT162b2), adenovirus vector (AstraZeneca’s ChAdOx1-S), and inactivated virus (Sinopharm’s BIBP). 

HIV combination regimen could lead to viral remission 

AELIX Therapeutics has announced positive results from its randomised, placebo-controlled Phase IIa therapeutic HIV vaccine and immune modulator combination clinical trial. 

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