COVID-19 Update | January 14, 2022
January 14, 2022
The California Biotechnology Foundation is committed to keeping you up to date about COVID-19 testing, treatment and prevention advancements. The following resources track what progress has been made as of January 14, 2022. Notable advancements include:
- Novartis and Molecular Partners are working to put its antibody therapy drug on the market within the next several weeks to treat COVID-19 patients.
- Pfizer plans to manufacture 50 million to 100 million doses of a new Omicron-specific version of its COVID-19 vaccine, which could be ready as early as this spring.
- Moderna is working on a booster shot that will target the Omicron COVID-19 variant and the company says it could be ready by this fall.
- GSK, Vir seek U.S. approval for COVID-19 antibody therapy as shot in arm
Reuters – January 13, 2022
GSK and Vir Biotechnology said they are seeking an expansion to the U.S. approval of their antibody-based COVID-19 treatment to include an option for the therapy to be given as a shot in the arm.
- Moderna Expects Vaccine Data For Kids Ages 2-5 By March
Forbes – January 12, 2022
Moderna announced it aims to report data of the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 2-5 by March, and hopes to evaluate its booster shot for those ages 12-17 as COVID-19- elated hospitalizations for children have reached record levels. If data from the 2 to 5 age group trials is promising, the company says it will proceed with regulatory filings to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- The highly contagious Omicron variant will ‘find just about everybody,’ Fauci says, but vaccinated people will still fare better
CNN – January 12, 2022
As the Omicron variant spreads like wildfire across the United States, it’s likely just about everybody will be exposed to the strain, but vaccinated people will still fare better, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert said.
- COVID-19 vaccines prevented 240K deaths, 1.1M hospitalizations in U.S., study finds
United Press International – January 11, 2022
The COVID-19 vaccines saved an estimated 240,000 lives and prevented 1.1 million hospitalizations in the United States during the first half of 2021 alone, a study published by JAMA Network Open found.
- Pfizer plans to manufacture up to 100 million doses of Omicron-specific vaccine by spring
Washington Post – January 11, 2022
Pfizer is racing ahead with plans to manufacture 50 million to 100 million doses of a new Omicron-specific version of its COVID-19 vaccine, a reflection of rising concerns that current vaccine formulations may need to be tweaked for the new threat. Pfizer also is testing hybrid combinations of vaccine to target multiple COVID-19 forms, as well as larger doses.
- Novartis-Molecular Partners COVID-19 drug could be approved in weeks
Reuters – January 10, 2022
Novartis and partner Molecular Partners could have an experimental drug on the market within several weeks to treat COVID-19 patients, officials from the two companies said. The antibody therapy developed by Molecular, called ensovibep, has met its main target in a phase II trial. In the Novartis-supervised trial, the drug led to a reduction in viral load in all viral variants, including Omicron.
- Moderna working with world health leaders on COVID-19 booster for this fall that targets Omicron, CEO says
CNBC – January 10, 2022
Moderna is working on a booster shot that will target the Omicron variant of COVID-19 for this fall as nations around the world prepare to distribute annual vaccinations against the virus. “We are discussing with public health leaders around the world to decide what we think is the best strategy for the potential booster for the fall of 2022. We believe it will contain Omicron,” CEO Stephane Bancel said. Bancel said the Omicron-specific booster will enter clinical trials soon, and Moderna is discussing whether the shot needs to contain any other components to fight the virus.
- Merck expects COVID-19 pill molnupiravir to be effective against Omicron
Reuters – January 10, 2022
Merck’s COVID-19 oral pill molnupiravir has a mechanism of action that can work against Omicron and any other variant, a company executive said. Data on molnupiravir’s impact against Omicron is not yet available, but the pill was shown to be 30% effective at reducing hospitalizations and deaths, based on data from 1,433 patients, as per latest data released in November.
- CDC: Immunocompromised eligible for 4th COVID-19 shot as early as this week
ABC 8 WFAA – January 10, 2022
Under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations, people with weakened immune systems could receive a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine as early as this week. Meanwhile, local experts predict a “series” of COVID-19 shots may become the recommended norm for everyone. Israel is reporting positive results with a fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine among the elderly and immunocompromised.
Rely on California Biotechnology Foundation to monitor breaking news and provide updates on the latest advancements in COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.
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If you have any questions about informational briefings contact California Biotechnology Foundation Executive Director Patty Cooper at (916)764-2434 or [email protected].