Gennova developing Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine

India’s Gennova Biopharmaceuticals is working on an Omicron-specific mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate, it told Reuters on Monday, after a person with direct knowledge of the matter said the product could be ready in a month or two.

“The Omicron-specific variant of the vaccine is under development and will be ready for human clinical trials, subject to regulatory approvals,” a company spokesperson said in a text message. “We will keep you posted.”

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The source, who did not want to be named as the information was private, said the product might need a small trial in India before it could be rolled out.

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Pfizer Inc said last week a redesigned COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron coronavirus variant could be ready to launch by March.

Related: Study suggests lower risk of hospitalisation with Omicron versus Delta

Gennova said that on Friday it submitted to India’s drug regulator phase 2 trial data for its original mRNA vaccine candidate. The government said last year that product was found to be “safe, tolerable, and immunogenic” in the participants of an initial study.

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If given emergency-use approval, this would be the country’s first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine like the ones developed by Pfizer and Moderna.

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