By Krishna N. Das
NEW DELHI (Reuters) -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."
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.
Pfizer Inc said last week https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/pfizer-ceo-says-omicron-variant-targeted-vaccine-is-most-likely-outcome-2022-01-10 a redesigned COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron coronavirus variant could be ready to launch by March.
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 https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1748520 last year that product was found to be "safe, tolerable, and immunogenic" in the participants of an initial study.
If given emergency-use approval, this would be the country's first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine like the ones developed by Pfizer and Moderna.
(Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell, Kirsten Donovan)