Medicago’s vegan COVID-19 vaccine is now approved by Health Canada, which will soon give Canadians the option to get a local injection against SARS-CoV-2.
organizers announce the decision To allow its use in adults aged 18 to 64 on Thursday, making this the sixth vaccine approved in Canada, following Health Canada’s approval of the Novavax injection last week.
In what the biopharmaceutical company calls the world’s first, the Medicago vaccine is being used in Quebec City Plant-derived particles are similar to viruseswhich is similar to the coronavirus behind COVID-19 but does not contain its genetic material.
Shots also contain Assistant From British American vaccine giant GlaxoSmithKline to help boost the immune response.
In December, companies reported high levels of efficacy against infection as they prepared for regulatory approval.
High efficiency rate
The overall effectiveness rate of the two-dose ring, nicknamed “Covifenz,” against all virus variants studied was 71 percent, with a 75 percent higher efficacy rate against COVID-19 infection of any severity than the delta, then-prevalent, variant, according to for the data shared at the time in a press release.
The findings follow a global, Phase 3, placebo-controlled study of the two-dose vaccine that was launched last March. This was before the highly contagious Omicron family of sub-variants, including BA.1 and BA.2, began spreading, though the company said the vaccine could be adapted as needed.
“While additional confirmatory data is needed, preliminary and exploratory data show that Covifenz produces neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant,” Health Canada noted in a statement.
The department also established terms and conditions for the mandate. The statement continued that Medicago should continue to provide information to Health Canada about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, “including protection against current and emerging variables of importance as soon as they become available.”
The company’s medical officer, Dr. Brian Ward, told CBC News, citing the company’s ongoing trials, which also include a study of a booster dose set to begin within weeks.
Watch | Importance of Canada’s first domestic COVID-19 vaccine:
Manufacturing Doses from Medicago
In October, Canada signed a deal to purchase 20 million doses of the Medicago vaccine, with an option for another 56 million doses.
at press release The company, released on Thursday, reiterated its commitment to submitting its footage as quickly as possible.
“The approval of our COVID-19 vaccine is a milestone for Canada in the fight against the pandemic. We appreciate Health Canada’s timely review,” Takashi Nagao, the company’s president and CEO, said in the statement.
“We are also grateful for the support of the Government of Canada in developing this new vaccine, and we are manufacturing the doses to begin fulfilling their demand.”
Given this huge influx of vaccines, Canadian Vice President of Public Health Dr Howard Ngo said some of the expected Medicago supplies will be part of Canada’s ongoing efforts to send doses abroad.
“Canada is committed to global efforts to provide vaccines around the world,” he said during a press conference.
Ngo said recommendations on the use of the vaccine are also expected from the National Immunization Advisory Committee in the coming weeks.
Watch | Medicago says plant pollen can be adapted to variables:
Unapproved vaccine for adults over 65
Currently, the vaccine is only authorized for use in adults between the ages of 18 and 64, based on data reviewed by Health Canada.
“There has been limited enrollment of participants over 65 years of age in clinical trials because a significant proportion of older adults have already been vaccinated,” the administration said in its statement. Medicago is currently collecting data on older individuals to support regulatory authorization for this age group.
Dr. Isaac Bogosh, an infectious disease specialist in Toronto, told CBC News that approval of the vaccine is good news, although it comes after the majority of Canadians have already been vaccinated with two or more doses.
“Will this have a significant impact on us here in Canada? Probably not. But there may be some individuals who are choosing to vaccinate with a non-flexible product,” he said, referring to the shots provided by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
More optimistic, Bogoch added, is how the plant-based technology could help develop a vaccine in the future.,
The process developed by Medicago uses plant species Nicotiana PantamianaIt is a relative of the tobacco plants used in pharmaceutical development, in large part due to the large number of viruses that can successfully infect it.
“This could be a very unique way to produce and scale up the vaccination,” Bogoch said.