AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L) 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.
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.
(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.
(PFE.N), (22UAy.DE) and Moderna (MRNA.O) also previously said they were working on Omicron- specific COVID
. Moderna said hopes to start clinical trials early next year.