COVID: Valneva Reports Positive Results for their Phase3 Vaccine

French-Austrian laboratory Valneva announced their Covid candidate vaccine – currently completing phase 3 of clinical trial – showed “positive ropline results“.

The trial met its co-primary endpoints“, the press release reads while specifying the vaccine “demonstrated superiority against AZD1222 (AstraZeneca), in terms of geometric mean titer for neutralization antibodies, as well as non-inferiority in terms of seroconversion rates (SCR above 95% in both treatment groups) at two weeks after the second vaccination (i.e. Day 43) in adults aged 30 years and older.

The phase 3 of the trial has been performed in 4,012 people aged 18+ and the vaccine has been “generally well tolerated“: “The tolerability profile of VLA2001 was significantly more favorable compared to the active comparator vaccine.”

For the record, the vaccine relies on the inactivated virus” technology, the standard form of vaccines so far, like products developed by Sinovac and Sinopharm. “This is a much more traditional approach to vaccine manufacture than the vaccines so far deployed in the UK, Europe and North America and these results suggest this vaccine candidate is on track to play an important role in overcoming the pandemicAdam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol, Trial Chief Investigator, said.

This new vaccine could be licensuredas quickly as possible” to “propose an alternative vaccine solution for people who have not yet been vaccinated“, Thomas Lingelbach, Chief Executive Officer of Valneva, said. Furthermore, the laboratory announced they have “commenced rolling submission for initial approval with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency” as well as “preparing to commence rolling submission for conditional approval with the European Medicines Agency“.


‘Imminent’ Stratospheric Warming Could Induce Cold Weather

Another ‘Beast from the East‘ as seen in 2018 is on the cards thanks to a sudden stratospheric warming event around the North Pole, a study reported. During such episodes, the stratosphere — the layer 6–31 miles (10–50 km) above the Earth’s surface — can increase in temperature by up to 90°F (50°C) over mere days. This disturbance can travel down through the atmosphere and — if it reaches the ground — can cause shifts in the jet stream that cool Europe and northern Asia.

UK experts studied 40 stratospheric warming episodes from the last six decades — and learnt to track their signals that they travel down to the Earth’s surface. They said the current warming could bring snowfall within weeks — a prediction that appears to have come true with London dusted white this morning. The Met Office predicted the stratospheric warming episode back in late December — and forecast, as a result, increased changes of cold weather across January.

While an extreme cold weather event is not a certainty, around two thirds of sudden stratospheric warmings have a significant impact on surface weather,’ said paper author and climate dynamics expert Richard Hall of the University of Bristol. There is an increased chance of extreme cold temperatures — and potentially snow, also — over the next week of two, he continued. ‘What’s more, [the current] sudden stratospheric warming is potentially the most dangerous kind, where the polar vortex splits into two smaller “child” vortices.’ 


5G Technology, 22 Times More Powerful Than 4G

Researchers at the universities of Lund (Sweden) and Bristol (UK) have conducted a number of experiments using a form of 5G technology called Massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), and set not one but two world records in so-called spectrum efficiency for wireless communication. Spectrum efficiency measures how much data can successfully be packed into a radio signal transmitted from an antenna.

This 5G technology developed by the researchers is extremely efficient – in fact, the most efficient technology ever when it comes to managing many simultaneous users. The latest world record was set when researchers from Lund and Bristol attained more than 20 times the total data speed of today’s 4G technology, thereby almost doubling the previous record where they, using the same technology, achieved a twelve-fold improvement.

Setting a new world record was a significant event as it demonstrated that it is possible to transmit 22 times more data compared to current wireless systems. Although the goal is for 5G to increase the total transmission capacity by a factor 1 000, this is still a big step”, says Steffen Malkowsky, researcher in Electrical and Information Technology at the Lund University Faculty of Engineering.