Novavax is developing a vaccine aimed at the new COVID-19 variant

A woman holding a small bottle marked with a “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” sticker and a medical syringe in front of the Novavax logo shown in this illustration taken October 30, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

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November 26 (Reuters) – Novavax Inc (NVAX.O) said on Friday that they had started working on a version of their COVID-19 vaccine to target the variant discovered in South Africa and would have the shot ready for testing. and production in the next few weeks.

The company’s COVID-19 shot contains an actual version of the virus’ spike protein that can not cause disease, but can trigger the immune system. The vaccine developer said that it had begun to develop a spike protein specifically based on the known genetic sequence of the variant, B.1.1.529.

“The first work will take a few weeks,” a company spokesman said. The shares in the company closed up almost 9 percent on Friday.

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Novavax’s vaccine received its first emergency use approval earlier this month in Indonesia, followed by the Philippines.

The company has said it is about to apply for approval in the US by the end of the year. It has also applied for approval from the European Medicines Agency as well as in Canada.

Other vaccine developers, including Germany’s BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), have said they are testing the effectiveness of their shots against the new variant, called Omicron by the World Health Organization. read more

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (INO.O) said they had begun testing their vaccine candidate, INO-4800, to evaluate efficacy against the new variant. The company expects the testing to take around two weeks.

Inovio also said that they also designed a new vaccine candidate that specifically targeted Omicron.

“Best case scenario, INO-4800 … will be completely resistant to omicron, but if that is not the case, we will have a redesigned vaccine ready for use if needed,” said Kate Broderick, senior vice president of Inovio R & D. division.

Earlier this month, Inovio resumed a late-stage trial of its vaccine in the United States after 14 months of clinical waiting. read more

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Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing Anil D’Silva

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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