Akston Biosciences Corporation, a company dedicated to the development of new classes of biologics, has announced positive results from a Phase I trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The open-label trial of AKS-452, the protein subunit, room-temperature-stable vaccine, was conducted among 60 subjects and found to be generally well-tolerated. It also produced a 100% conversion rate in the 90 microgram single-dose regimen, as well as the 45 and 90 microgram two-dose regimens. A Phase II trial is being planned, with both single- and double-dose regimens, later this month at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands. It will be handled by TRACER Europe, a contract research organisation specialising in fast-track clinical trials.

Pfizer and BioNTech have provided an update on their comprehensive booster strategy to tackle the circulating mutations of Covid-19. The companies have found positive data in their ongoing booster trial that includes a third dose of their current BNT162b2 Covid-19 vaccine. Initial data suggests that a booster dose given six months after the second dose of the vaccine has a consistent tolerability profile and produces high neutralisation titers against the wild type and the Beta variant, which are five to ten times higher than after two primary doses. Additional data also suggests that immune sera obtained soon after the second dose of the vaccine have strong neutralisation titers against the Delta variant in laboratory tests.

Interim findings from a recent REACT-1 study finds Covid-19 infection rates for double-vaccinated people aged under 65 years to be three times lower than in unvaccinated people in the same age group. Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI findings between 24 June and 5 July show infections have quadrupled since the last REACT-1 study that took place between 20 May and 7 June, with 1 in 170 people infected and a recent doubling time of six days. More than 47,000 volunteers returned PCR tests in England between 24 June and 5 July to examine the rate of infections in the general population. The prevalence of infection among those 65 years and younger who had received two doses of the vaccine was 0.35%, compared with 1.15% among those in the same age group who were not vaccinated at all, demonstrating the impact of the vaccination rollout. The study also found infections to have increased in all regions but the largest and eightfold in London.