(Reuters) – A roundup of some of the recent clinical research on the novel coronavirus and attempts to classify therapies and vaccines for the virus-induced disease COVID-19 is presented below.
The South African version will withstand established antibody therapies
Scientists have found that the form of the latest coronavirus detected in South Africa can withstand, or “escape,” antibodies that neutralize earlier versions of the virus. It “exhibits complete escape” from three groups of monoclonal antibodies developed to treat patients with COVID-19 and exhibits “substantial or complete” resistance to COVID-19.
“The data do raise the possibility that the protection gained from past infection with COVID-19 may be lower for re-infection with the South African variant,” he said. “The data also suggest that the existing vaccines could be less effective against the South African variant.” He called for large studies among populations where the variant is common. (bit.ly/3sLeIgP)
The shot of Pfizer/BioNTech potentially protects against the UK version.
According to laboratory studies, the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE is likely to protect against the more infectious form of the virus found in Britain and now spreading across the globe. Blood samples were collected by researchers from 16 people who obtained the vaccine and exposed the blood to a fake virus or pseudovirus that was bred to have 10 mutations contained in the vaccine.
“This makes it very unlikely that the UK variant will escape from the protection provided by the vaccine,” said Jonathan Stoye, a virus scientist at Britain’s Francis Crick Institute who was not involved in the research. Similar experiments are needed with the more concerning variant first found in South Africa, he suggested. AstraZeneca Plc, Moderna Inc and CureVac NV are also testing whether their respective vaccines will protect against the fast-spreading variants. (bit.ly/35X6Wa4; reut.rs/3p1TCZz)