Omicron mutation: Almost all monoclonals appear ineffective


If the “arsenal” of monoclonal antibodies is found to be relatively weak against Omicron, doctors will lose a key tool in preventing serious disease.

«If Omicron ‘bites’ so hard, it will be a recipeor catastrophe, “said virologist Stuart Terville of the Kirby Institute in Sydney.

Almost all monoclonal antibodies developed for Covid-19 appear do not have the same efficacy against the Homicron mutation.

This appears according to the first laboratory (non-clinical) studies. Scientists’ initial pre-publications cite evidence from their laboratory experiments that Omicron is fully or partially resistant to virtually all existing treatments. monoclonal antibodies, according to “Nature”.

If this is confirmed, then the already overburdened hospitals, which are preparing for the upcoming new epidemic wave of cases due to Omicron, may not be able to “bet” on monoclonal antibodies, at least to the extent that they have done so far.

Based on research publications to date, only two monoclonal antibodies appear to maintain some efficacy against Homicron: sotrovimab from the American biotechnology company Vir Biotechnology and the British GSK, as well as the DXP-604 which is now undergoing clinical trials in China and developed by the Chinese companies BeiGene and Singlomics.

On the other, antiviral pills tPfizer (Paxlovid, a combination of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) and Merck (molnupiravir), which are much cheaper than monoclonal antibodies;is expected to be quite effective against Omicron, as they have a different mechanism of action. Especially Paxlovid, according to the announcement of Pfizer on December 14, is 89% effective in preventing hospitalization and death in high-risk patients, as long as the treatment is given shortly after the onset of symptoms.

In any case, both monoclonal and pills are means of therapeutic intervention, with specific indications, such as individuals belonging to specific risk groups with mild disease, in order to prevent the transition to a more severe clinical picture.

See also: Takis Panagiotopoulos: “It does not mean that there are spaces with 100% fullness”  

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