AstraZeneca hopeful its antibody cocktail will work on new COVID variant

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FILE PHOTO: Test tubes are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration

LONDON – AstraZeneca said on Friday it was hopeful its antibody cocktail against COVID-19 would retain efficacy against a new variant that is spreading in South Africa, and was also examining whether the variant was resistant to its vaccine.

“As with any new emerging variants, we are looking into B.1.1.529 to understand more about it and the impact on the vaccine,” AstraZeneca said in a statement, adding it was conducting research in Botswana and Eswatini to collect data.

“We are also testing our long-acting antibody combination AZD7442 against this new variant and are hopeful AZD7442 will retain efficacy since it comprises two potent antibodies with different and complementary activities against the virus.”

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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