A UK pharmaceutical company has joined the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that can fight off all variants of the virus.
Scancell is working with researchers at the University of Nottingham to formulate a universal coronavirus vaccine, with a goal of rolling out the shots in 2022, The Telegraph reported.
“We don’t necessarily claim it will be a pan-coronavirus vaccine, but it has got the potential to be so simply because of where it is targeted,” Scancell chief medical officer Dr. Gillies O’Bryan-Tear told The Sun.
The US has identified variants in 699 cases, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Monday. All but nine represented the UK variant, called the B.1.1.7. Two other mutations, from South Africa and Brazil, have also raised concerns in recent months.
Pfizer and Moderna, the two companies with authorized vaccines in the US, have also announced plans to develop a revised version of their vaccines or offer booster shots to mitigate the spread of variants and more effectively fight existing cases.
AstraZeneca has said it could have a vaccine tailored to fight mutations ready by the fall.