New booster data validates Moderna's bivalent vaccine strategy

Moderna on April 19 shared positive results from a clinical trial for its bivalent COVID-19 booster shot, saying the vaccine candidate offered strong protection against several variants.

The new vaccine, which targets the original virus strain and the beta variant, increased the number of neutralizing antibody titers against all variants of concern, including omicron. It also outperformed Moderna's original booster formulation, maintaining a high level of protection for six months.

"We believe that these results validate our bivalent strategy, which we announced and began pursuing in February 2021," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a news release. 

The research functions as an early proof of concept for bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, or vaccines that target two variants, but it's unlikely the specific formulation used in the study would ever hit the market, according to The Washington Post. Moderna's lead booster candidate is a bivalent formulation that includes the original virus strain and the omicron strain. Results from that trial are slated to come out in June.

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