BioNTech says it will know in 2 weeks whether the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with Pfizer works against the new variant rapidly spreading in southern Africa
- BioNTech is testing its COVID vaccine against a rapidly spreading variant, the Financial Times said.
- The B.1.1.529 variant has been detected in South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, and Israel.
Excerpt from the Press Release:
BioNTech said it’s testing the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with Pfizer against the new variant that appears to have emerged in southern Africa, and that it would know in two weeks whether the vaccine works against the variant, the Financial Times first reported.
The variant has 32 mutations in the part of the virus that attaches to human cells, called the spike protein — the target for existing vaccines and antibody treatments. This means there is a greater risk that those vaccines and treatments won’t be as effective against it, Insider previously reported.
“We understand the concern of experts and have immediately initiated investigations on variant B.1.1.529,” BioNTech told Insider. “We expect more data from the laboratory tests in two weeks at the latest.”
The company said the variant “differs significantly from previously observed variants.”
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