Medical Technology

The COVID-19 Antibody Drug Work against Omicron

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Early laboratory studies have revealed that a COVID-19 anti-omicron antibody treatment jointly developed by GlaxoSmithKline (Vir Biotechnology) could be effective.

The companies announced Thursday that they have tested the drug, called sotrovimab, against specific mutations identified in the Omicron variant according to theThe Wall Street Journal. The preliminary findings aren’t yet peer-reviewed and the drug will have to be tested against the whole spike protein in the virus to confirm results.

GlaxoSmithKline and Vir have previously conducted tests on sotrovimab to determine if it is resistant to mutation on other variants, the newspaper reported. When the Omicron variant was identified, the companies looked at earlier research to determine the tests they had done against mutations that are also present in Omicron.

According to the newspaper, Sotrovimab targets a spot of the spike protein that is also found in other coronaviruses. This spot is less likely to be mutated. Omicron has at least two mutations that are similar to the drug’s target however, the researchers from the companies don’t believe that the mutations will hinder its ability to bind with the spike protein.

GlaxoSmithKline expects results from testing the drug against fully mutated spike proteins in the next two weeks, according to the Journal.

Sotrovimab has been approved in more than a dozen countries including the U.S., which paid approximately $1 billion for hundreds of thousands of doses.

Other companies have also tested their anti-bodies against the Omicron variant.

Regeneron announced Tuesday that its drug may be less effective. It stated that further studies will determine how much less effective the drug is based on the actual Omicron genetic sequence, according to Reuters.

Outside scientists have also stated that the antibody drug from Eli Lilly & Co. isn’t as effective as it is against Omicron. Reuters was informed by Eli Lilly that the treatment is still being tested against the Omicron variant.

Another treatment for experimental antibodies created by Adagio Therapeutics appears to work well against the new variant, the Journal published, but the treatment is currently in late-stage clinical trials and hasn’t been approved.

The newspaper reported that antiviral medications can be used to avoid hospitalizations and are less likely to be affected by new viruses as they target a different type of virus. Merck and Pfizer created antiviral medicines, but FDA approval is still required.

Reuters reported that Gilead also believes its approved IV treatment, Remdesivir, will remain effective against this type of infection.

According to Reuters, the FDA announced on Tuesday that it is investigating the effects of COVID-19 vaccines on Omicron.


The Wall Street Journal: “Glaxo Says Its Covid-19 Antibody Drug Is Likely Effective in battling Omicron.”

Reuters: “Regeneron may have less potency against Omicron with its COVID-19 anti-antigen drug.”

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