Dr. Fauci warns Covid variant found in South Africa could pose threat to antibody drugs - CNBC
Jan 12, 2021 1 min, 6 secs
A mutated and more infectious coronavirus strain first identified in South Africa is "disturbing" and could pose a threat to antibody treatments that are used to prevent people from falling seriously ill from Covid-19, White House health advisor Dr.

New coronavirus strains first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa have caused some concerns among scientists who say the mutated variants are highly infectious, though they don't appear to be any deadlier compared with previous strains.

However, there's some concern that the variant found in South Africa, known as 501Y.V2, might be more resistant to monoclonal antibodies, which have helped some people fight the virus when administered early on in their infection.

Through discussions with health experts in South Africa, Fauci said preliminary data shows there's "more of a threat" the strain would evade some of the protections antibody treatments provide.

Unlike vaccines, which trigger an immune response that attacks different parts of the virus, monoclonal antibodies target a very specific component, Fauci told California Gov.

Eli Lilly Chairman and CEO Dave Ricks told CNBC earlier Tuesday that he expects the company's monoclonal antibody treatment to be effective against the variant found in the U.K., though the one in South Africa could pose more challenges.

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