On Tuesday, Medicago and GlaxoSmithKline revealed "positive efficacy and safety results" from a worldwide study utilizing the world's first plant-based coronavirus vaccine, according to the firms.

The late-stage trial, which included 24,000 adults from six countries, found that the vaccine candidate had an overall efficacy rate of 71% against COVID-19 of any severity for the globally dominant Delta variant, rising to 75.3 percent against COVID-19 of any severity for the globally dominant Omicron variant. However, the trial did not include the newly discovered Omicron variant.

First plant-based COVID-19 vaccine shows high efficacy

The trial employed Medicago's plant-based vaccine in association with GSK's pandemic adjuvant, an element that boosts the immune response and efficacy of other vaccinations, in a worldwide Phase 3 placebo-controlled efficacy study. According to the firms, it does not yet have a brand name and is presently referred to as "CoVLP."

Consumers are increasingly choosing plant-based vegan and vegetarian alternatives in food and materials markets for environmental or religious reasons, but Brian Ward, medical officer at Medicago, told The Washington Post that categorizing the vaccine candidate as such would be inappropriate: "The plants that are used simply act as bioreactors to produce the antigen."

The firms said they believed the vaccine would provide variety to the current pool of vaccines available and that the research showed it was "well-tolerated, with no linked significant side events observed in the vaccination group," according to the companies.

Read Also: Omicron 3 Times More Likely To Overcome Immunity Protection From Previous COVID-19 Infection Than Other Variants

COVID-19 drug found effective against Omicron variant

Meanwhile, fresh research shows that COVID-19 antibody treatment is effective against all Omicron variant mutations. Lab tests have revealed that the medicine, sotrovimab, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology in the United States, is effective against the 37 mutations that have been identified in the new strain.

Sotrovimab was shown to be effective against several key Omicron mutations, according to data released last week. However, the new information indicates that the medication will be effective against the variant in all of its forms, as per Daily Mail.

Last Monday, the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency authorized the medicine after trials revealed that it reduced the risk of hospitalization and mortality in patients with mild to moderate COVD-19 symptoms by 79%.

Sotrovimab, also known as Xevudy, is a drug that helps persons with impaired immune systems avoid acquiring serious COVID-19 infections. It provides the body with COVID-19 antibodies to help fight the infection while antivirals stop the virus from reproducing.

Around 100,000 pills have already been ordered by the UK government. With its approval, the MHRA has now authorized two antibody therapies, Ronapreve and Xevudy, as well as one antiviral, Lagevrio (molnupiravir).

Many public health professionals are likely to be relieved by the latest findings, given the continued ambiguity about whether existing COVID-19 vaccines and medicines can effectively combat Omicron.

A plant-based COVID-19 vaccine produced by GSK and Canadian biotech Medicago was demonstrated to be 71% effective against numerous COVID-19 variants and 75% effective against the highly contagious Delta variant, providing a second dose of good news.

Per PBS, the European Union's pharmaceuticals agency backed combining several types of vaccinations in initial and booster immunization programs to combat the coronavirus. In a statement, the European Medicines Agency stated that heterologous vaccination, or the use of several types of vaccines together, can give benefits.

The news comes as most of Europe grapples with increased infection and hospitalization rates, as well as concerns about the new Omicron variant. As most of the continent works to curb the latest increase in the pandemic, the EMA and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control warned that a mix-and-match strategy might provide states additional alternatives in vaccine programs.

Related Article: FDA Panel Endorses Emergency Use Authorization of Merck's COVID-19 Pill, Molnupiravir

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