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Everest Medicines and Providence to develop Omicron vaccine

Everest Medicines and Providence Therapeutics have started working on a new version of COVID-19 vaccine specifically targeting the new Omicron variant.

Picture of vaccine with "OMICRON" written in background

Everest Medicines and Providence Therapeutics have jointly announced that the companies have started working on a new version of COVID-19 vaccine specifically targeting the new Omicron variant.

Scientists from the two companies have analysed the sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, selected viral sequences, and designed plasmid clones. According to their statement, the companies expect the new Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant vaccines can be advanced into clinical testing in less than 100 days.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has already designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, although the potential impact on vaccine effectiveness it is not yet clear. 

Providence is a Canadian clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines with operations in Calgary and Toronto. Meanwhile, Everest Medicines is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercialising pharmaceutical products that address unmet medical needs for patients in Asian markets.

According to their statement, the companies expect the new Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant vaccines can be advanced into clinical testing in less than 100 days.”

“We believe it is essential to develop new vaccines quickly and effectively to combat the new Omicron COVID-19 variant,” commented Brad Sorenson, Chief Executive Officer of Providence Therapeutics. “We will work closely with regulatory bodies and seek the appropriate clinical studies and regulatory approvals to bring this vaccine to market as soon as possible.”

“We look forward to rapidly developing this new Omicron variant vaccine with Providence, and bringing the benefit of this vaccine to those areas with lower accessibility to current mRNA vaccine treatments in particular,” added Kerry Blanchard, Chief Executive Officer of Everest Medicines. 

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