March 1, 2024

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AstraZeneca abandoned the COVID-19 vaccine for beta variants

AstraZeneca abandoned the COVID-19 vaccine for beta variants


AstraZeneca abandoned the COVID-19 vaccine for beta variants although this vaccine has entered clinical phase 2/3 trials!

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for the beta variant entered Phase 2/3 of clinical trials last year. AstraZeneca finally decided to drop the vaccine candidate, called AZD2816, as the beta variant continued to drop down the list of the most threatening variants.


AstraZeneca abandoned the COVID-19 vaccine for beta variants although this vaccine has entered clinical phase 2/3 trials!


Another important reason was that there was no significant difference between the immunogenicity of AZD2816 and Vaxzevria.

Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of biopharmaceutical research and development at AstraZeneca, said, “This means that there is no need to switch from one vaccine to another because it is obviously not easy to switch vaccines at this stage from a manufacturing and capacity perspective. matter.”


For these two reasons, AstraZeneca will abandon the beta variant of the vaccine and stick with its first-generation vaccine Vaxzevria.


When the beta variant was discovered in October 2020, it represented the most worrying variant of the new coronavirus at the time from an immune escape perspective.

The virus had 10 mutations in the spike protein that quickly made the first-generation vaccine less effective. The reported efficacy of the Novavax vaccine fell from 89% in the UK to 49% in beta-virus-dominated South Africa.


Given the small genetic differences between the beta variant and the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, AstraZeneca responded by tweaking its first-generation Vaxzevria vaccine.

Under the circumstances, developing a beta-specific vaccine was considered a wise move by the industry. Beta virus first gained a foothold in South Africa and made its way to some European countries when AstraZeneca started its AZD2816 clinical trial.

However, Delta, and then Omicron, swept the world, drastically reducing the need for a vaccine specifically targeting the once-worrying beta variant.


AstraZeneca dosed the first subjects in a Phase 2/3 clinical trial in June 2021. The study ultimately enrolled more than 2,800 people to evaluate the vaccine and its first-generation Vaxzevria product in a number of different settings.

Subjects included unvaccinated people and people who had previously received Vaxzevria or an mRNA vaccine against the new coronavirus.


The rise and fall of AZD2816 offers a cautionary tale for Moderna and Pfizer.

The two companies have just recently put Omicron-specific vaccines into clinical development.

While the Omicron is far more popular than any previous variant, the speed at which it replaced the Delta, and the fact that it is significantly different from the previously dominant variant suggests that any targeting of a specific form of Covid-19 Any vaccine for the spike protein could be eliminated before it hits the market.


AstraZeneca disclosed the termination of AZD2816 in its quarterly report, while revealing the removal of a series of early-stage projects from its pipeline.

The big pharma disclosed its cholesterol drug MEDI5884, which it recently sold to Regio Biosciences, as well as the spin-off of an antibody to prevent pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus.

Both programs are in Phase II clinical trials. Another Phase 2 program, solid tumor drug candidate AZD2811, was successful with three Phase 1 programs, including the inhaled JAK inhibitor AZD0449 for asthma patients.







Reference:AstraZeneca dumps late-phase, next-gen COVID-19 vaccine, calling time on a beta player in an omicron world

AstraZeneca abandoned the COVID-19 vaccine for beta variants

(source:internet, reference only)

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Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.