AstraZeneca, Oxford aim to produce Omicron-targeted vaccine | Inquirer News
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AstraZeneca, Oxford aim to produce Omicron-targeted vaccine

/ 09:02 AM December 22, 2021
FILE PHOTO: A doctor shows vials of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in his general practice facility, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Vienna, Austria May 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

FILE PHOTO: A doctor shows vials of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in his general practice facility, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Vienna, Austria May 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

AstraZeneca Plc said on Tuesday it is working with Oxford University to produce a vaccine for the Omicron coronavirus variant, joining other vaccine-makers who are looking to develop the variant-specific vaccine.

“Together with Oxford University, we have taken preliminary steps in producing an Omicron variant vaccine, in case it is needed and will be informed by emerging data,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement.

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Oxford did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside business hours.

The Financial Times first reported the news, citing Sandy Douglas, a research group leader at Oxford.

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“Adenovirus-based vaccines (such as that made by Oxford/AstraZeneca) could in principle be used to respond to any new variant more rapidly than some may previously have realised,” Douglas told FT.

A lab-study last week found that AstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail Evusheld retained neutralising activity against the Omicron variant.

Vaccine makers Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna also previously said they were working on Omicron- specific COVID-19 vaccines. Moderna said hopes to start clinical trials early next year.

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TAGS: AstraZeneca, coronavirus vaccine, Omicron variant, Oxford University
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