SA Covid-19 variant appears to evade antibody drugs, which is 'very concerning' - ex-FDA chief
Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Tuesday that the South African Covid-19 variant is "very concerning" because it may get around antibody drugs that try to help the body fight infection. Speaking to CNBC, he said evidence from Seattle-based Bloom Lab, which hasn't been peer-reviewed, suggested that the South Africa variant can partially escape antibodies that fight coronavirus. This means antibody drugs used to treat Covid-19 — or the antibodies in someone previously infected with coronavirus — might not be effective against the new variant, he said. No cases of the variant, which appears to be more infectious and is known as B.1.351 or 501Y.V2, have yet been detected in the US.