Moderna says bivalent COVID-19 booster provides more protection against omicron than the approved booster


An earlier version of this story cited the wrong booster candidate. The booster cited by Moderna is a mix of beta mutations and the original strain of the virus, and the company’s “lead candidate” for the fall is a mix of omicron and the original strain of the virus.

Shares of Moderna Inc. MRNA, -1.31% were down 2.2% in premarket trading on Tuesday after the company said its bivalent COVID-19 booster candidate generated two times the antibodies against the beta and omicron variants for at least six months when compared with Moderna’s already approved booster shot. Moderna’s experimental bivalent booster is a mix of beta mutations and the COVID-19 booster, which is based on the original strain of the virus. The study evaluated the bivalent booster in about 895 people. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said, however, that the company’s “lead candidate” for a fall booster campaign in the Northern Hemisphere is a bivalent booster candidate that is a mix of omicron and the currently approved booster. Moderna’s stock is down 39.0% this year, while the broader S&P 500 SPX, +1.61% has declined 7.4%.

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