‘Eeek’ Mutation Of A Variant: Latest Discovery Worries Disease Experts
Samples studied in the United Kingdom and the U.S. have shown a mutation of the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the U.K. Infectious disease experts are concerned about vaccine efficacy against this latest viral change.
The Washington Post:
Worrisome Mutation Seen In UK Variant And In Some Virus Samples In U.S.
A coronavirus mutation that appears to limit the protection of vaccines against infection has appeared in the United Kingdom, which is already struggling with a highly transmissible and apparently more lethal virus variant. The worrisome mutation, at a site on the virus RNA called E484K, has drawn close scrutiny from infectious-disease experts, who have given it the nickname “Eeek.” (Achenbach and Booth, 2/2)
New Variant COVID Findings Fuel More Worries About Vaccine Resistance
The latest sequencing data as of Jan 26 revealed the E484K mutation in 11 of the B117 sequences and that initial analysis suggests more than one acquisition event. The same mutation is found in two other variants of concern from two other continents, B1351 and P1. Trials in South Africa—where the B1353 variant is dominant—of Novavax and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have hinted that they are less effective against the variant. (Schnirring, 2/2)
The Wall Street Journal:
U.K. Coronavirus Variant Acquires Mutation That Could Weaken Vaccine Defense
Researchers say they have discovered 11 people around the southwest city of Bristol infected with the U.K.’s more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant that also has the E484K mutation. They also have found 32 cases in Liverpool of an older version of the virus that has also now acquired the extra mutation. (Sugden and Steinhauser, 2/2)
And GSK and CureVac are teaming up to create a vaccine that targets variants —
GSK, CureVac To Make COVID-19 Vaccines Aimed At New Variants
Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said Wednesday it will work with a German biopharmaceutical company to develop new vaccines targeting emerging variants of COVID-19 amid concerns that some mutations are making the virus harder to combat. GSK plans to invest 150 million euros ($181 million) to support the research of the Tubingen, Germany-based CureVac, which is developing vaccines that use messenger RNA to attack the disease. GSK also said it will help make up to 100 million doses of the company’s existing COVID-19 vaccine candidate this year. (Kirka, 2/3)
GSK, CureVac Team Up To Develop Vaccine Against COVID-19 Variants
Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline and German biotech firm CureVac have teamed up in a 150 million euro ($180 million) deal to develop a COVID-19 vaccine from next year that could target several variants with one shot. ... For GSK, the world’s largest vaccine maker by sales, the deal marks a fresh attempt to play a major role in fighting the pandemic after a COVID-19 alliance with Sanofi ran into delays and a collaboration with China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals was ended. (Burger, 2/3)