NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! The World Health Organization (WHO) no longer recommends two COVID-19 antibody treatments on the grounds that Omicron and the variant’s most recent offspring have probably made them ineffective.
The two treatments were among the first drugs created in the early stages of the pandemic. They are intended to function by attaching to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 to neutralize the virus’ capacity to infect cells.
Since then, the virus has changed, and growing data from laboratory studies indicates that the two medicines, sotrovimab and casirivimab-imdevimab, have only weak clinical efficacy against the most recent versions of the virus. They have consequently lost popularity with the American health watchdog.
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As part of a set of recommendations published in the British Medical Journal on Thursday, WHO experts stated they strongly discouraged the use of the two medicines in patients with COVID-19, reversing earlier conditional recommendations favoring them.
The U.S. Food and Treatment Administration (FDA) removed GSK and partner Vir Biotechnology’s sotrovimab off the U.S. market in April despite the drug having produced billions in sales and being among the top sellers for the British pharmaceutical company last year.
The WHO’s discovery is a little tardy given that the United States had already begun to question sotrovimab’s clinical efficacy against Omicron in February, according to Penny Ward, a visiting professor of pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London.
It would be fascinating to see how many other nations agree with this proposal now that the WHO has made it, she said.
The antibody cocktail casirivimab-imdevimab from Regeneron and collaborator Roche has also earned billions in sales and was one of the top sellers for the American pharmaceutical company last year.
The FDA changed its position on the medication back in January, restricting its usage to a limited population of patients and citing its diminished efficacy against the Omicron variety.
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The European medicines agency nevertheless recommends both treatments for usage.
Remdesivir, a COVID treatment developed by Gilead, was another early pandemic treatment. By advising that it can be used in patients with both severe and non-severe COVID who are at the highest risk of hospitalization, the WHO broadened its conditional recommendation for the medicine.
Some COVID therapies that are now available continue to be helpful in the fight against the virus, and others that are in development are anticipated to also help patients.