COVID-19 Update | June 10, 2022

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | June 10, 2022

June 10, 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 June 10, 2022. Notable advancements include:  

  • Moderna released results on an updated COVID-19 vaccine that targets the Omicron variant, calling it a “lead candidate” to serve as a U.S. booster shot in the fall.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted to authorize Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine for adults ages 18 and older.

Recent News

  • Moderna says new trial results show that a revised vaccine works better against Omicron.New York Times – June 8, 2022Moderna released preliminary results on an updated COVID-19 vaccine that targets the Omicron variant, calling it “our lead candidate” to serve as a U.S. booster shot in the fall. The firm’s researchers tested a booster dose combining the original vaccine with one that specifically targeted Omicron, the variant that became dominant last winter. They found that among those with no evidence of prior COVID-19 infection, the combination produced 1.75 times the level of neutralizing antibodies against Omicron as the existing Moderna vaccine did alone
  • AstraZeneca trots out Evusheld data to expand the COVID-19 preventive drug into the treatment arenaFierce Pharma – June 8, 2022AstraZeneca is back in the COVID-19 game with new data for its antibody drug, Evusheld. While it’s existing authorizations cover the prophylactic setting, the latest results from the company puts the drug in contention as a treatment for patients with mild-to-moderate disease. The company posted data from a phase 3 trial in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine, showing that the medicine reduced the risk of progression to severe COVID-19 or death from any cause by 50% compared to placebo at day 28, which was the trial’s primary endpoint.
  • Moderna seeking FDA authorization of omicron-specific booster shotWashington Post – June 8, 2022Moderna said it will seek authorization for an updated COVID-19 vaccine designed to protect against omicron subvariants that the company described as its “lead candidate” for a fall booster, but it remains unclear how effective the shot will be against the latest versions of the omicron variant spreading in the United States. Preliminary data released by the company showed that its omicron-targeting COVID-19 booster candidate produced 1.75 times as many neutralizing antibodies against the version of omicron that circulated over the winter, known as BA.1, compared with its existing vaccine.
  • FDA advisers vote in favor of authorizing Novavax COVID-19 vaccineNBC News – June 7, 2022An independent advisory group to the Food and Drug Administration voted in favor of authorizing the COVID-19 vaccine made by drugmaker Novavax for adults ages 18 and older. Twenty-one members of the committee voted yes, and none voted no; one person abstained. Next, the FDA will decide whether to authorize the shot for emergency use, which would make it the fourth COVID-19 vaccine available in the U.S. The FDA often follows the group’s recommendations.
  • Opinion: Here’s how San Diego biotech helped fight the COVID-19 pandemicSan Diego Union-Tribune – June 7, 2022The COVID-19 pandemic made a simple fact painfully clear: Our world is smaller and more connected than ever before, meaning that dangerous viruses and other communicable diseases can travel faster and farther than at any other time in human history. The question isn’t whether a new virus or strain will threaten us. The question is when. How will society confront such an epic challenge? Thankfully, a robust and innovative life science community is built on close collaboration among companies, universities, research institutes and all levels of government. It is this very community that has been at the forefront of battling the current pandemic, and it is this community that will lead the charge preparing for the next.
  • Pfizer and Moderna Won’t Get a Shot in the Arm From ToddlersWall Street Journal – June 6, 2022There could soon be as many as two approved COVID-19 shots for the littlest Americans. But investors in vaccine-makers’ shares, which have suffered amid a broader selloff in the biotechnology sector, won’t be able to breathe any easier. Some anxious parents are holding off on a full return-to-normal until their little ones get inoculated. One could therefore be forgiven for thinking there might be a sizable national market for Pfizer – BioNTech and rival Moderna, both seeking authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this month for children under five years old.
  • Why are COVID-19 rates higher for boosted than vaccinated Californians?Daily Bulletin – June 6, 2022Don’t look at California’s COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates by vaccine status if you’ve had a booster or are considering one: Posted figures suggest you could be just as likely — or even more so — to get infected if you’re boosted than if you only had the initial shots. So is there a problem with the boosters? Absolutely not, one of the state’s top public health officials insists. “The bottom line message is that absolutely boosters are incredibly important,” said California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan. “Boosters definitely protect you, especially from severe infections and death.”
  • Pfizer to spend $120 mln to boost U.S. COVID-19 pill manufacturingReuters – June 6, 2022Pfizer said it would spend $120 million to expand manufacturing of its COVID-19 antiviral treatment at its Michigan plant, as demand ramps up. Use of the pill, Paxlovid, authorized to treat newly infected, at-risk people to prevent severe illness, has soared recently as infections rise. Biden administration officials have pushed for the wider use of Paxlovid, which the government distributes for free.
  • Can new COVID-19 vaccine win over the anti-vaxxers?Mercury News – June 6, 2022With three COVID-19 vaccines already authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Americans have easy access to plenty of shots. But a fourth one, under review, is entirely different — and it uses a traditional vaccine design that more people may be inclined to trust. The vaccine, made by Novavax, works just as well as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the company’s studies show. Its side effects seem milder. It’s easier to store. At least 41 other countries — including Australia, Canada, South Korea and the 27 members of the European Union — have approved it.

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].