December 3, 2021

GreenLight (ENVI) and IAVI begin work on Omicron variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccine candidate

iavi wellcome

BOSTON and NEW YORK – DECEMBER 3, 2021 – GreenLight Biosciences (ENVI) and IAVI, a non-profit scientific research organization, today announced work on a messenger RNA vaccine candidate to tackle the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“The highly mutated Omicron variant may be partially capable of eluding existing vaccines, so rapid adaptation is an urgent priority,” said GreenLight CEO Andrey Zarur. “We have started lab work already. We will be testing a new candidate vaccine shortly in preclinical models. We have also begun an analysis on how we would proceed in clinical studies in Africa, in the context of our current clinical plans.”

IAVI President and CEO Mark Feinberg said, “While it’s impossible to say right now where Omicron first emerged, we wouldn’t have been able to respond to this threat so quickly had it not been for the skill and openness of the South African scientists who identified the variant and shared the sequence with the world. Now we must focus on bringing solutions forward both to address this new variant and the stark inequities that remain in the global availability of vaccines to prevent COVID-19.”

On November 30, GreenLight and IAVI announced their plans to partner to advance GreenLight’s messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate in a Phase I clinical trial with IAVI responsible for clinical trial management in collaboration with its network of clinical research center partners in sub-Saharan Africa. The flexibility of the messenger RNA platform has allowed GreenLight to advance new variant-adjusted vaccine candidates.


About GreenLight

Founded in 2008, GreenLight aims to solve some of the world’s biggest problems by delivering on the full potential of RNA for human health and agriculture.

In human health, this includes mRNA vaccines and therapeutics. In agriculture, this includes RNA to protect honeybees and a range of crops. The company’s breakthrough cell-free RNA manufacturing platform, which is protected by numerous patents, allows for cost-effective and scalable production of RNA. For more information, visit

In August 2021, GreenLight Biosciences announced plans to become publicly listed through a business combination with Environmental Impact Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq:ENVI).

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, with respect to the proposed transaction between GreenLight Biosciences, Inc. (“GreenLight”) and Environmental Impact Acquisition Corp. (“ENVI”). These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result” and similar expressions. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including but not limited to the risk that the transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect the price of ENVI’s securities and the effect of the announcement or pendency of the transaction on GreenLight’s business relationships, operating results, and business generally. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and ENVI and GreenLight assume no obligation and do not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

GreenLight Biosciences Media Contact
Thomas Crampton
SVP & Head of Corporate Affairs

IAVI Media Contact
Karie Youngdahl
Head, Global Communications