According to the latest analyses performed by the Catalan pharmaceutical company Hipra, its vaccine is effective against the omicron subvariants. In a press release on Tuesday, the company located in Amer (Girona) claimed that its injection "also confers protection against the BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 Omicron subvariants ". Fourteen days after Hipra's COVID-19 vaccine was given as a booster dose to people already vaccinated with two Pfizer doses, there is an increase in antibodies that neutralize the aforementioned subvariants. This same is true of a group of participants in a clinical trial previously vaccinated with Moderna.
Beyond the clinical trial, Hipra commented on the possible approval of its vaccine by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). As the pharmaceutical states: "Hipra's vaccine fits the current needs in Europe. With close to 50% of the population still to be given a booster dose, and with the autumn vaccination campaigns in mind, it is positive that the European population has access to vaccines with technologies other than mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna). The broad spectrum of protection against the new variants, and its good safety standard, makes Hipra's vaccine an appropriate solution for people who have to be vaccinated according to the health authorities' recommendations"
Safety and fourth dose of the vaccine
The clinical trial's results reveal that the Catalan vaccine, "as an heterologous booster dose, triggers a powerful neutralizing antibodies response (they increase more than 10-fold) to all the variants studied (Wuhan, Beta, Delta and Omicron) at 14 and 92 days". These are statistically higher increases than those obtained with Pfizer's booster after 98 days against Beta, Delta and Omicron, as well as after 14 days against Beta and Omicron. These results indicate that Hipra's vaccine generates a more sustained neutralizing antibody response over time than the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine, suggesting longer-lasting and more effective protection against the new active variants, says the Catalan pharmaceutical company.
The clinical trial also shows that the injection has a "good safety and tolerance profile", as no major negative side effects were detected in the people who participated in the study. In any case, the most common negative side effects have been the following: pain in the injection area, as well as headache or fatigue. In the press release, Hipra adds that "recombinant protein vaccines have been used for many years for other diseases" and that "the adjuvant used (SQBA, an oil-in-water emulsion) has already demonstrated its efficacy and safety in other vaccines". Nevertheless, the Amer-based pharmaceutical announced it is planning to broaden the study to evaluate the safety and immune response of a fourth booster dose with the Catalan vaccine.