The Native Antigen Company, a supplier of reagents that enables research into vaccines and diagnostics for emerging and endemic infectious diseases, announced the launch of its latest SARS-CoV-2 antigens for the newly designated omicron BA.5 variant. The company’s new range of RBD (receptor binding domain) antigens will support scientists in the research and development of in vitro diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines for the current variant of concern. 

Since the discovery of the Omicron variant in November 2021, further mutations have led to the categorization of other variants, including BA.5 in February 2022. This latest WHO-designated Variant of Concern (VoC) now accounts for more than 50% of the world’s cases1, demonstrating increased transmissibility and the ability to evade both natural and vaccine induced immunity. The Native Antigen Company’s BA.5 specific antigens add to its existing range of omicron reagents, supporting research into the variant to facilitate the development of more effective serological assays and vaccines.

The Native Antigen Company’s BA.5 antigens were raised using its S1 and S2 recombinant Spike proteins as immunogens. Produced in the Company’s proprietary mammalian expression system, VirtueE, the antigen exhibits full glycosylation and folding to ensure that antibodies raised against it are highly specific. The Company’s BA.5 Spike RBD includes residues 23-245 of the full Spike protein sequence in combination with a C-terminal His-tag, to allow for simple and effective purification.

“Our BA.5 antigens are the result of our ongoing efforts to expand our extensive range of reagents for coronavirus re-search across antigens, antibodies, receptor enzymes and custom development services,” says Ish Jalal, commercial director, The Native Antigen Company. “After developing the initial Omicron Spike antigens just five weeks after it was designated a VoC, we have continued to show our commitment to responding to our customers’ needs and providing access to high quality reagents to support scientists in the research and development of diagnostics and vaccines to combat emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.”