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0112 Data Byte
BioCentury & Infogram

Product Development

mRNA vaccines still lead the COVID-19 pack: Data Byte

Sinovac’s Phase III data ranks vaccine lowest in protection rate 

Jan 13, 2021 | 2:31 AM GMT

mRNA vaccines were the first to be authorized, and pivotal data show them to still be the most effective as a sixth COVID-19 vaccine reads out.

Brazil’s Butantan Institute, which led Phase III testing of CoronaVac, said Tuesday that the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (NASDAQ:SVA) had an overall efficacy of 50.3% in Phase III testing.

That rate falls short of the other COVID-19 vaccines that have reported Phase III data. Among 9,200 subjects there were 252 cases of very mild COVID, 85 in the vaccine group and 167 in the placebo group.

The vaccine’s efficacy jumped to 78% in patients with slightly less mild disease, with seven cases in the vaccine arm and 31 in the placebo arm, and reached 100% in the seven patients with moderate-to-severe disease. The latter findings suggest CoronaVac will be useful for keeping people out of the hospital, if not in stopping transmission.

Phase III efficacy data from an inactivated virus vaccine from China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp. (Sinopharm) were higher than CoronaVac, suggesting the mediocre efficacy isn’t a class effect.

Only one of the vaccines that have had efficacy readouts since the mRNA vaccines from Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) and partners Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) has come close to matching their efficacy: the Russian viral vector vaccine Sputnik V from N.F. Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

A survey of the 2021 expectations of BioCentury’s scientific advisory board found most expect investments in mRNA companies to rise this year.

Vaccines on deck include adenovirus vaccine JNJ-78436735 from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), for which data are expected this month. 

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