Covid-19 manufacturing roundup: 3 companies to collaborate on mRNA vaccine; Omicron-focused vaccine could be on the way
GenScript, Suzhou Abogen, and Walvax Biotechnology have announced the three companies will be collaborating on a Covid-19 mRNA vaccine project dubbed ABO-O28M.
WalVax will submit a BLA for the project, and GenScript will provide exclusive manufacturing services, according to Asia One.
The project stems form an agreement between Abogen, the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) of the PLA Academy of Military Science and Walvax, which gained clinical trial approval in June 2020. It was one of the first vaccine projects approved by China’s government, and GenScript used its plasmid GMP manufacturing to accelerate into clinical trials.
“The pandemic is still raging. Abogen Biosciences had launched the project since the very beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19. It is one of the first batch of mRNA vaccine projects approved by government of China,” GenScript CEO Brian Min said in a press release.
Omicron-focused vaccine could be on the way
Commercial manufacturing for a Covid-19 vaccine specific to the Omicron variant could begin as early as January, Novavax said in a statement published Thursday.
The company is conducting studies to evaluate several variants or interest and variants of concern, including Omicron. Those tests will determine whether antibodies from previously vaccinated people can neutralize the Omicron variant. It will also test whether vaccinated individuals’ antibodies can block Omicron-hACE2 receptor binding, a step required within the viral invasion process.
“Based on this, we will evaluate whether immune responses induced by NVX-CoV2373, the company’s recombinant nanoparticle protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, will offer similar cross-protection against Omicron as seen with other variants,” the press release said.
GMP manufacturing is expected to begin in January 2022. Lab-based assessment of a new strain-matched nanoparticle vaccine will begin within a few weeks, Novavax said.