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Antibody cocktails may not work against omicron variant, research shows

The antibody cocktails that work as a treatment against COVID-19 might not stop the omicron variant

A nurse enters a monoclonal antibody site.
A nurse enters a monoclonal antibody site on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, Fla. Experts say antibody cocktails that work as a treatment against COVID-19 might not stop the omicron variant.
Marta Lavandier, Associated Press

Antibody cocktails — a known treatment for those infected with the coronavirus — may not work against the omicron variant, according to early research.

Per The Wall Street Journal, drugmaker Regeneron has reported results of a preliminary test that appears to show the antibody cocktail from the company appears to fade compared to early mutations.

Regeneron said it needs to do more research to determine how well the treatment can stop the variant in the next few weeks, according to The Daily Beast.

Dr. George Yancopoulos, Regeneron’s president, said the company is working on other antibodies to take on the omicron variant.

  • “What we have to admit is, in the course of the past six days, our urgency has increased,” Yancopoulos told The Wall Street Journal. “What started out as a backup plan has now been made a lot more urgent.”

South Africa researchers discovered the omicron variant over the weekend, as I wrote for the Deseret News. The variant reportedly has dozens of mutations, which might make it more likely to evade vaccines and treatments. It’s unclear if the variant is worse than other variants.

  • “We really need to be vigilant about this new variant and preparing for it,” said Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, per The New York Times.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser on the coronavirus, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the U.S. needs to prepare for a fast-moving virus, too.

  • “The question is, will we be prepared for it?” Fauci said. “And the preparation that we have ongoing for what we’re doing now with the Delta variant just needs to be revved up.”