Regeneron Says Its Antibody Cocktail Likely Weakened by Omicron Variant
TUESDAY, Nov. 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday that its antibody cocktail, which is used widely to treat COVID-19 patients, may be less effective against the Omicron variant.
The company noted that prior analyses suggest that its monoclonal antibody cocktail, and similar drugs, could lose effectiveness against the variant.
Further research is ongoing, according to Regeneron, which added there is no direct data yet testing the new variant's resistance to immunity from monoclonal antibodies and vaccines. The company did note that it is already testing the next generation of antibody treatments that might show greater potency against the Omicron variant.
Health officials consider monoclonal antibodies highly effective in preventing hospitalization among patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 if the therapy is given within seven to 10 days after symptoms appear.
The treatment -- typically administered through four injections or a half-hour infusion -- provides antibodies that quickly target the coronavirus while the body's immune system gears up to fight it, the Washington Post reported.
President Donald Trump was given Regeneron's antibody cocktail when he was infected with the virus in 2020. It is now widely available to the American public.
Visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health for more on COVID antibody treatments.
SOURCE: Regeneron, statement, Nov. 30, 2021; Washington Post