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Everest Medicine's mRNA Omicron COVID-19 Vaccine to Start WHO Trials

publication date: Dec 20, 2021
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD

Shanghai Everest Medicines (HK:1952) reported that its mRNA Omicron-tailored COVID-17 vaccine will be tested as part of the WHO Solidarity Trial Vaccines clinical trial. The tests will be conducted in addition to the trials that Everest and its Canadian partner, Providence Therapeutics, will conduct. The two companies believe the mRNA PTX-COVID19-B vaccine has potential for best-in-class honors. An independent advisory group selected the vaccine for inclusion in their WHO Solidarity Trial based on its strong immunogenicity and tolerability profiles. 

PTX-COVID19-B is in a Phase II trial for COVID-19. Interim data from Providence's Phase I study showed the candidate demonstrated strong virus neutralization,  producing a level of antibodies that compare favorably to already approved mRNA vaccines. The companies did not disclose its efficacy against the Omicron variant.

For WHO's purpose, the important criteria for a vaccine is its safety and proven efficacy, stability, quick production and the ease with which it can be administered to individuals. WHO is interested in delivering vaccines to poorly served populations around the world.

STV trials have started recruitment in selected sites in the Philippines, Mali and Colombia. A principal investigator, nominated by the Ministry of Health in each country, will lead a national team that will administrate the study. The trial will be sponsored by and paid by WHO.  

"We are very excited to participate in the STV trial program and to address a global health crisis in collaboration with the WHO," says Brad Sorenson, CEO of Providence Therapeutics.  

"The STV trial complements the joint efforts of Everest and Providence in generating a robust safety and immunogenicity data set design," added Kerry Blanchard, CEO of Everest Medicines. "We hope this can help accelerate approval with regulatory bodies around the world." 

Everest Medicines has built a portfolio of ten potentially global first-in-class or best-in-class molecules, many of which are in late-stage clinical development. Its products target unmet needs in oncology, autoimmune disorders, cardio-renal diseases and infectious diseases. In September, Everest announced a $150 million deal with Providence for China/Asia rights to the COVID-19 vaccine as part of a larger $500 million three-drug collaboration.

See our other articles on Everest.

Disclosure: none.





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