COVID-19 therapies made from a cocktail of two types of antibodies were effective against a wide range of variants of the coronavirus in a study in mice and hamsters, reported the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis on June 21, 2021 (NIH / Document via Reuters.)
Antibodies are used to treat cases of COVID-19, often early in the process. Former US President Donald Trump was treated with an antibody cocktail by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in October after testing positive for COVID-19.
The latest study included three of four variants designated ‘variants of concern’ by the World Health Organization, including alpha, first identified in the UK, beta, first found in South Africa, and gamma found in Brazil, as well as an emerging variant detected in India similar to the delta variant of concern.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April revoked the authorization for emergency use of Eli Lilly’s single antibody therapy, bamlanivimab, saying there was an increased circulation of drug-resistant variants. therapy when used alone.
Other studies have already shown that some combination antibody therapies remain potent against emerging variants of the coronavirus that are resistant to single antibody therapies.
The latest study found that combinations of two antibodies often retained their potency against variants even when one of the two antibodies lost some or all of its ability to neutralize the variant in laboratory studies.
The study, which was conducted in mice and hamsters, tested all single and combination antibody therapies approved for emergency use by the FDA against emerging international and US variants of the virus.
The researchers evaluated FDA-approved combination therapies made by Regeneron, Eli Lilly and a single antibody therapy, sotrovimab, by Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline.
They also evaluated the antibodies currently in clinical trials by AbbVie, Vir and AstraZeneca.
“Resistance has developed with some of the monotherapies, but never with combination therapy,” wrote study co-author Jacco Boon.
(Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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