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COVID-19 Adenovirus Vaccine Image

COVID-19 Oxford Vaccine Trial Results: Summary

AZD1222, a COVID-19 vaccine that has just undergone phase 3 trials, was co-developed by the spin-out company, Vaccitech, based at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on an attenuated (weakened) version of a common cold adenovirus. The latter has been modified to include the DNA sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. As a result, this surface spike protein is produced in the recipients body post-vaccination. It is the most antigenic part of COVID-19, eliciting an antibody response, and priming the immune system to counteract future infections.

 

Overview of COVID-19 Vaccine Trial (Phase 3) Results:

Vaccine Name: AZD1222

Developers: Astra Zeneca + VacciTech (Oxford University) UK

Vaccine details: Chimpanzee Adenovirus vector (attenuated) + Sars-Cov2 spike protein DNA

Approach: Two dosing regimens (inadvertent – see below for explanation)

statistical significance: p-value <=0.0001

Dose – Day 1 Dose – Day 28 Number of test subjects Efficacy
Half dose Full dose n=2471 90%
Full dose Full dose n=8895 62%

Figures released to the press [1] included a composite average efficacy of 70%. In reality there were effectively two trials, due to the difference in doses. The half dose was actually given in error initially, to 2.7K+ test volunteers. This subgroup who received an erroneous administration, actually produced the most pronounced efficacy (90%). Speculative theories around this suggest, the lower dose may stimulate T cell production of antibodies more effectively. Alternatively, the patients who received the higher dose on day 1 may have experienced a more pronounced reaction to components of the viral vector itself. Thus, the response to the second dose was blunted (62%).
Clearly, more research is needed to establish the cause. Additional data on the age and ethnicity breakdown of the individuals included in the higher efficacy subgroup would also be necessary to ensure the trial group was representative of the population at large and no biases were present. For example, an absence of individuals who were 65+, or from ethnic minority groups in the higher efficacy group, has a potential to skew results.
The researchers stated no severe cases of COVID-19 or hospitalisations were recorded in any patients, where the vaccine proved ineffective.

Note that whilst phase 1/2 trials of the vaccine have been published with peer-review [2], we still await the full results and data of the phase 3 trial.
The Oxford University and AstraZeneca team have also made a commitment to broad and equitable global access to the vaccine. https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2020-06-05-oxford-university-s-covid-19-vaccine-next-steps-towards-broad-and-equitable-global

Pros & Cons of Adenovirus Vaccines Vs RNA vaccines

Pros

  • Established and large scale production techniques available
  • Thermostable, at normal cold storage temperatures 2-8oC
  • Cons

  • Time-consuming production
  • Prospect of annual boosters required
  • Update 30th December 2020:
    The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorised the emergency supply of COVID-19 Vaccine (AZD1222) for the immunisation of individuals 18 years+. This authorisation recommended the two full dose regimens be given – due to a lack of data for the half dose/ full dose regimen at present. They have recommended that the two identical doses be given with a 4 to 12 week interval.

    Publisher: About Us – Onyva The Agency
    We are a scientific marketing agency. We have continued to support clients through the current pandemic, producing technical literature, articles and digital marketing support relating specifically to COVID-19 for the medical, healthcare and biotechnology industries. Our scientifically trained team are able to combine up-to-date knowledge on the evolving pandemic, with decades of marketing experience to meet you needs.Take a look at our services.
    Get in touch for marketing support: info@onyva-agency.com

    References:

    1. AstraZeneca Press Release: 23 Nov 2020 https://www.astrazeneca.com/media-centre/press-releases/2020/azd1222hlr

    2. Folegatti PM, Ewer Kj et al., Oxford COVID Vaccine Trial Group. Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2020 Aug 15;396(10249):467-478. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31604-4. Epub 2020 Jul 20. Erratum in: Lancet. 2020 Aug 15;396(10249):466. PMID: 32702298; PMCID: PMC7445431.



    Continued marketing support_Onyva_Covid19

    Continued marketing support

    During the recent challenges, we would like to assure existing and new clients that we will continue to support them with all marketing projects.

    We are fortunate to be able to work remotely, and have all the infrastructure in place for our team. We are keeping abreast of,and adhering to all of the government advice issued on Covid-19.

    We are infinitely grateful to all those working in the medical and healthcare sector who are at the frontline of keeping everyone well, and don’t have the option of working from home.

    Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any queries you may have directly, and stay well.

    SEO Checklist

    Navigating SEO Checklist Infographic

    SEO is an iterative process. As such, you need to keep abreast of multiple ranking factors, and their potential weighting in proprietary search engine algorithm updates to make changes that matter. Our infographic provides a straight-forward SEO checklist into tactics and resources, to ensure you’ve got the key things covered.

    SEO in the B2B scientific sector

    Navigating SEO in a B2B setting for product marketing in the life sciences, biotech, medical or tech fields is business critical. Although, it comes with it’s own unique challenges, versus B2C or retail sectors. You’ll likely be including very similar technical terminology to your competitors, therefore, will need to experiment and use innovative ways to ensure you rank ahead.

    Key steps in your SEO plan

    If you are at the early stages of formulating an SEO plan, here are some key questions to ask:

      • What are your goals for SEO, and how much budget do you have to assign to it?
      • What are customers searching for, to find your product or services?

    If the answer here is “we are not sure,” or “we are subjectively guessing what it is,”, you will need to dedicate time for search term and keyword research. When you’re marketing B2B, as a life sciences, biotechnology, medical or tech company, you’ll undoubtedly have considerable in-house expertise. As a result, it can be tempting to second guess and assume you know how a customer will behave.
    Whilst your specialist knowledge can serve you well, we’ve encountered many instances where clients have been surprised to learn how their users are finding their products. Remember, subtle differences and variations in keywords can have a profound impact on SEO. Furthermore, keyword research tools (e.g Google Keyword Planner , Moz’s Keyword explorer and SEM Rush, to name a few, can be a huge help. Tie these in with information from search term reports from PPC, Google Trends , or other similar tools and you have a great start.
    One issue you may face in a B2B environment with specialised products, is a lack of search volume for definitive data. One approach here would be to supplement data with direct user interactions from surveys.

    Some key questions and points to consider when optimising your SEO strategy and content:

    • Based on your research what keywords do you want to rank highly for?
    • What are competitors ranking highly for?
    • Are you ensuring you use your SEO research to drive your online content marketing and distribution plan? (NB: it should be this way around).
    • Will your content help you earn inbound links? Take a look at whose¬†linking to your competitors – would they link to your content as well?
    • Do you have a social media plan to share content, and drive users back to your site?
    • How are you going to measure success? What metrics are key?
    • Have you ensured you’re using Google Analytics to track traffic and sources? Here’s a useful guide for 2020 interface set up from Website Planet.
    • Have you got your on-page SEO optimised? Meta-descriptions are critical as Google matches searches based on this content and displays them in SERPS. Also consider, the slug, keyword density, and readability factors (sub-heading distribution, paragraph structure, use of active voice and transition words etc.,)
    • Are you just launching your new site? Have you got the site technical basics covered to ensure search engines trust your site? (SSL certificate, HTTPS, optimised speed of page delivery, mobile-version, privacy policy, cookie opt-in, Robots.txt, Search engine SiteMap.XML, verified postal address and a custom 404 page etc.,).

    Still need more help with implementing website SEO? We offer a comprehensive service to help improve search rankings,combined with technical content production. Get in touch with our team now.

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