Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said on Tuesday that it was commencing the last stage trials of its Covid-19 vaccine GBP510 developed in conjunction with partner SK bioscience.

This follows positive second phase results which showed that all participants receiving the vaccine developed ‘strong neutralising antibody’ responses.

The protein-based vaccine uses Glaxo’s adjuvant technology which is designed to enhance the immune response and potentially reduce the amount of vaccine required per dose, allowing more doses to be produced.

In a lacklustre start to the shortened week, the shares gave up 0.7% to £14.65.

GLOBAL ACCESS

Results from the stage three trial are expected in the first half of 2022 and subject to positive results and regulatory approval the vaccine is expected to be supplied at scale worldwide through the COVAX programme, a global collaboration of governments and philanthropic organisations set up to accelerate equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Chief global health officer Thomas Breuer said, ‘while many countries have made good progress with vaccination, there remains a need for accessible and affordable COVID-19 vaccines to ensure equitable access and to protect people across the world.’

WORLD FIRST

The trial will enrol 4,000 participants from across the globe and evaluate the effectiveness and safety of GBP510 against the AstraZeneca (AZN) and Oxford University vaccine, making it one of the first stage three trials to compare two Covid-19 vaccines.

Glaxo has created one of the broadest responses to the global pandemic with two potential treatments in addition to the vaccine candidates.

The firm is collaborating with Sanofi and Medicago to develop protein-based vaccines, which are now in stage three trials while it is also working with CureVac to jointly develop the next generation mRNA vaccines designed to address multiple emerging variants in one vaccine.

US biopharma group Modern’s vaccine is based on mRNA technology, which instructs the body’s cells how to make a protein which produces the appropriate immune response.

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Issue Date: 31 Aug 2021