Moderna said its Covid-19 vaccine booster shot produced a robust antibody response against the highly contagious delta variant, according to details of a study released Thursday with the companys second-quarter earnings report.

In a phase two trial, Moderna is testing a 50-microgram dose of three vaccine booster candidates in previously vaccinated individuals. The booster shots produced a promising immune response against three variants, including delta, with antibody levels approaching those seen in previously unvaccinated people who received two 100-microgram doses, the company said.

The data has been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication, it said.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Images

The companys second-quarter financial results beat Wall Streets expectations on earnings and revenue. Heres how Moderna did compared with what Wall Street expected, according to average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $6.46 versus $5.96 expected
  • Revenue: $4.35 billion versus $4.2 billion expected

The new data on boosters comes as the delta variant spreads across several countries, including the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may make older people sicker, even if theyve been fully vaccinated.

In slides that accompanied the earnings report Thursday, Moderna said it expects the variant will lead to an increase in breakthrough infections, which occur in vaccinated individuals.

While we see durable Phase 3 efficacy through 6 months, we expect neutralizing titers will continue to wane and eventually impact vaccine efficacy, the company said. Given this intersection, we believe dose 3 booster will likely be necessary prior to the winter season.

People in the U.S. are already finding ways to secure booster shots amid concerns about delta. Still, the World Health Organization on Wednesday called on wealthy nations to stop the distribution of Covid booster shots, citing vaccine inequity around the world.

Moderna also said Thursday a final analysis of its phase three study found the two-dose vaccine was 93% effective, with efficacy remaining durable through six months after the second dose.

By comparison, Pfizer and BioNTech said their vaccine efficacy declined to around 84% six months after the second shot.

Moderna, which was founded in 2010, was the second company to gain U.S. authorization for its Covid vaccine behind Pfizer-BioNTech. Modernas Covid vaccine generated $4.2 billion in sales in the three months ended June 30, according to the earnings report.

The company said it aims to produce 800 million to 1 billion Covid vaccine doses this year. It has signed vaccine contracts worth $20 billion in sales this year and has agreements worth $12 billion in 2022.

CNBC Health & Science

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