Regeneron’s CEO says that his company is working on a new antibody cocktail that will be effective against the Omicron variant of COVID-19 for distribution in 2022.

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, CEO Leonard Schleifer said that Regeneron is planning to conduct trials of the cocktail starting in the first quarter of 2022.

He added that it is his hope that U.S regulators at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve it as efficiently as possible so that it can be used to treat patients who contract Omicron.

“I think we need to figure out a way that we can get this to patients on a large scale before the next variant shows up,” Schleifer told CNBC. “We just don’t want to be chasing our tail here.”

The Omicron variant first emerged in southern Africa at the end of November and its symptoms have been described by public health officials as milder than other variants. However, Omicron is highly contagious and resistant to some of the current protections provided by existing COVID-19 vaccines.

Regeneron acknowledged that its current treatment options may be less effective against Omicron than previous variants, justifying the need for a new treatment.

A drug cocktail like the one produced by Regeneron is not meant to be a substitute for getting vaccinated, but instead is used to treat those who become infected with COVID-19.

Despite Omicron’s apparent ability to compromise even a fully vaccinated individual’s immune system, booster shots have been touted as an effective way to prevent the disease from becoming more serious.

Even as Omicron continues to inspire concern, this summer's Delta variant of COVID-19 has been pushing up hospitalizations for months in many states across the country.

Schleifer, the Regeneron CEO, defends the current batch of treatments from his company as still effective against Delta at a time when officials worry the onset of winter will drive up case numbers.

“It’s possible that delta will surge, the flu surge, and so will omicron,” Schleifer said. “So we’re going to need a full toolkit here.”