For the moment it’s all conditional. And it could not be otherwise given that the process is still at an experimental level. But the good news, on the front of contrasting Omicron, the variant that is scaring the world, is that an experimental monoclonal antibody (Sotrovimab) has been discovered that appears to maintain activity against key mutations of the new SARS-CoV- mutation. 2, B.1.1.529.
The announcement was made by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology, the companies that are completing in vitro tests on pseudo-viruses to confirm the neutralizing activity of Sotrovimab against the combination of all mutations of Omicron with the intention of providing an update by the end of. 2021. “Sotrovimab was deliberately designed with a mutant virus in mind,” said George Scangos, Ph.D., Vir’s chief executive officer, “by targeting a highly conserved region of the Spike protein that is less likely to mutate.” And he added: “We hoped to address both the current SARS-CoV-2 virus and the future variants we expected would be inevitable. This hypothesis is confirmed over and over again, with its continued ability to maintain activity against all variants tested to date, including key mutations found in Omicron, as demonstrated by pre-clinical data. We have every expectation that this positive trend will continue and we are working quickly to confirm its activity with respect to the entire combined sequence of Omicron ”.
Omicron is becoming dominant
The need to intervene as soon as possible to find a solution to contain the possible effects of the Omicron variant is urgent. Just look at the data coming from South Africa: the increase in coronavirus cases is worrying and is rapidly becoming the dominant strain. The local health authorities have made it known. Michelle Groome of the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases found that in the past two weeks there has been an “exponential increase” in cases, from a weekly average of about 300 new cases per day to 1,000 last week, and more recently 3,500. . On Wednesday, South Africa recorded 8,561 cases; a week earlier, the daily tally was 1,275. “The degree of increase is worrying,” Groome told Parliament. This is why finding an immediate solution, also through the use of monoclonals, is essential.