Omicron variant spreads all over the world – Community News
Covid-19

Omicron variant spreads all over the world

An employee works on a production line at a GlaxoSmithKline factory in northern France, where adjuvant - or the immune system booster - for Covid-19 vaccines is manufactured.
An employee works on a production line at a GlaxoSmithKline factory in northern France, where adjuvant – or the immune system booster – for Covid-19 vaccines is manufactured. (Francois Lo Presti/AFP/Getty Images)

Medicago – a company that has used a close relative of the tobacco plant to make vaccines – said a Phase 3 trial of its Covid-19 vaccine showed it has 75% efficacy against symptoms of any severity caused by the Delta variant of the virus.

The company said no serious side effects were seen in its trial involving 24,000 volunteers in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

It said it would seek regulatory approval from Canadian authorities and begin US and European authorization processes.

The company said the vaccine’s overall efficacy against all variants of the virus was 71%, adding:

“The vaccine candidate demonstrated 75.3% efficacy against COVID-19 of any severity for the globally dominant Delta variant. Efficacy was 88.6% against the Gamma variant.”

Reactions to the vaccine were generally mild and transient, the company said. It said it would publish the findings in a peer-reviewed journal.

The company uses a close relative of the tobacco plant, called Nicotiana benthamiana, to produce so-called virus-like particles. These are non-infectious facsimiles of the virus, designed to activate the immune system to recognize a real virus if it infects someone.

The vaccine uses an adjuvant — an immune system booster — made by GlaxoSmithKline.

“If approved, we will contribute to the world’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with the world’s first plant-based vaccine for use in humans,” Takashi Nagao, CEO and president of Medicago, said in a statement. Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation is the parent company of Medicago.