Novavax to develop vaccine against Omicron varianttext_fields
Biotech company Novavax is looking to pioneer a vaccine against the newly-discovered Omicron variant of Covid-19 that was detected in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong on Friday. The company has previously manufactured 'Covovax' also known as Nuvivaxovid which is currently awaiting regulator approval in India.
The company's COVID-19 shot contains an actual version of the virus' spike protein that cannot cause disease but can trigger the immune system. The vaccine developer said it had started developing a spike protein specifically based on the known genetic sequence of the variant, B.1.1.529.
Development is expected to take a few weeks. The company has said it is on track to file for U.S. approval by the end of the year. It has also filed for approvals with the European Medicines Agency as well as in Canada. The Serum Institute of India has already announced a tie-up to manufacture Covovax in India on Monday.
Inovia Pharmaceuticals Inc has also begun testing the efficiency of their vaccine candidate INO-4800 against the new strain of the virus. Kate Broderick, senior vice president of Inovio's R&D division was quoted by news agency Reuters as saying that in case the vaccine was not resilient against the new strain, a new vaccine would have to be produced that specifically targeted Omicron.
Other vaccine manufacturers like BioNTech and Moderna have shifted into high gear as their scientists race to understand the Omicron variant and what impact their vaccines around the globe will have on it.