MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. The Institute of Human Stem Cells will test the effectiveness of the Betuvax vaccine against the new Omicron coronavirus variant, Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors Artur Isayev told TASS.
"In the coming weeks - I think, in the next two, three to four weeks - we plan to carry out a series of experiments to figure out if our vaccine [Betuvax] is capable of neutralizing the Omicron virus serotype," he said. "Once it’s clear, we will make a decision," Isayev explained.
According to him, the Institute of Human Stem Cells will look into the possibility of modifying the jab if such a need arises. "We will consider the modification option but as of now, our data shows that the vaccine is effective enough in neutralizing the most widely-spread virus serotypes," the expert pointed out. "If we see that some new strains are spreading and the vaccine’s neutralizing capabilities are lacking against them, we will create [a vaccine] against that specific strain," Isayev assured.
Betuvax-Cov-2 is a subunit recombinant vaccine based on spherical particles with part of the surface antigen (protein) of the coronavirus. The medication was developed by the Betuvax company, part of the Institute of Human Stem Cells group and a resident of the Skolkovo Innovation Center. The jab’s clinical trials kicked off in October. The Institute of Human Stem Cells plans to prepare an interim report on the results of the phase one and two clinical trials and submit them to the Russian Health Ministry in February or March 2022. If the ministry gives the okay, the production of the jab can be launched after that, Isayev said earlier. According to him, vaccine production may begin in the first half of 2022.