China's Clover says its Covid booster shot candidate lifts antibody against Omicron

China's Clover says its Covid booster shot candidate lifts antibody against Omicron

Health workers takes swab samples from people to be tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a swab collection site in Beijing on June 23, 2022. (AFP photo)
Health workers takes swab samples from people to be tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a swab collection site in Beijing on June 23, 2022. (AFP photo)

BEIJING: China's Clover Biopharmaceuticals said on Monday a booster shot of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate significantly increased antibody response against the Omicron coronavirus variant from levels seen after two primary shots.

A third dose of its vaccine candidate SCB-2019 resulted in a 19-fold increase in neutralising antibody levels against the Omicron BA.2 subvariant from pre-booster levels, Clover said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The booster shot also elicited a 12-fold rise in the neutralising antibody level against the BA.1 subvariant, the company said, citing preliminary analysis without providing detailed readings.

The results came from a cohort of participants, who had no natural infection of the coronavirus and showed waning antibodies before the booster, in a clinical trial that has enrolled 3,755 participants in Brazil, the Philippines and Columbia, Clover said.

SCB-2019, which is backed by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), has yet to be approved for commercial use.

Antibody-based readings differ from a vaccine's efficacy, a rate that reflects how well it could lower the risk of Covid disease or death.

Data from a large clinical trial conducted before the spread of Omicron showed SCB-2019 was 67% effective against symptomatic Covid-19 of any degree of severity and 79% against the Delta variant.

Clover did not discuss cell-based responses elicited by the booster, another important part of human immune system different from antibody-based responses.

Clover is also testing a separate candidate SCB-2020S in an early stage trial and working on a bivalent vaccine candidate targeting variants of concern including Omicron. 

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