Chapter 3: Will antibodies block this next wave of variants?

Tulio de Oliveira, a South Africa-based geneticist and bioinformatician, shares research that led to his discovery of mutations driving coronavirus variants in that country and around the world.

What began as an effort to explain South Africa’s sudden rise in cases led De Oliveira to discover multiple mutations to the virus — and to find that the variants resulting from these simultaneously evolving mutations are resistant to human convalescent plasma and monoclonal antibodies. De Oliveira presents these findings during this final chapter of our series.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is a surgeon and scientist who has spent his career studying the human immune system to fight cancer and infectious disease. In mid-October, Soon-Shiong’s company, ImmunityBio, received permission from the Food and Drug Administration to begin Phase 1 trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. He has also received approval to begin trials in South Africa, where he will explore the potential of his T cell vaccine to prevent infection from these mutated virus strains.