Eli Lilly antibody drug likely effective against UK virus strain, but not South African variant, CEO says

Eli Lilly CEO Dave Ricks told CNBC Jan. 12 that he expects the drugmaker's COVID-19 antibody drug to be effective against the virus variant first discovered in the U.K., but he's unsure if it will work against the variant discovered in South Africa. 

"The South African variant ... is the one of concern. It has more dramatic mutations to that spike protein, which is the target. Theoretically, it could evade our medicines," Mr. Ricks said. 

He told CNBC that Lilly wants to work with the FDA to test different versions of its antibody drug against the variants to see whether they're effective. The two variants are both believed to be more transmissible, but not more deadly, than previous virus strains. 

There have been no confirmed cases of the variant discovered in South Africa in the U.S., but it has been detected in Japan, South Korea and Switzerland, CNBC reported. The variant found in the U.K. has been confirmed in about 70 people in the U.S. 

Read the full article here.

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