Preliminary Testing Shows COVID-19 Antibody Drugs Challenged by Omicron Variant

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  • 08/19/2022

Preliminary testing indicates that the COVID-19 antibody drug cocktail from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals loses effectiveness against the Omicron variant. 

Separate testing of the Eli Lilly antibody drug cocktail shows it also isn’t as effective against Omicron. Lilly said it is testing the new variant against its antibody treatment, the Wall Street Journal reports

According to researchers, some antibody cocktails are likely to be especially vulnerable to Omicron because it contains mutations to the spike protein that the Regeneron and Lilly drugs target, while other drugs should fare well because they attack elements of the virus that remain the same in the variant. 

These monoclonal antibodies are lab-made molecules created and given son after infection to treat patients before they require hospitalization. They are different from vaccines, which train the immune system to defend against the virus before it presents itself. 

Regeneron said it would be able to figure out the impact of the variant in the coming weeks after further testing is done. 

If final testing shows that its antibody drugs are less effective, Regeneron has alternative antibodies that it can take to clinical testing. One of the alternates is already in clinical testing. 

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