Regeneron says its monoclonal antibody Covid treatment may be LESS effective against the Omicron variant

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  • Regeneron says it believes its monoclonal antibody COVID-19 treatment, REGEN-COV, may not be as effective against Omicron variants
  • The new variant was discovered in South Africa last week and could potentially evade vaccine protection
  • Omicron has over 50 mutations, including 30 on the spike protein, a high number compared to other variants.
  • Monoclonal antibody treatment is one of the best available treatments for people when they have already been infected with the virus.

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At least one popular COVID-19 treatment may not be effective against the new Omicron variant.

Regeneron maker of REGEN-COV – one of the first COVID-specific treatments available in the US – said on Tuesday that its treatment may be less effective against stress.

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The drugmaker said further analyzes are ongoing to confirm and quantify this potential effect using the actual Omron variant sequence.

Health officials fear that many of its mutations, discovered last week in South Africa and believed to have originated in Botswana, could neutralize many available means to fight Covid.

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Regeneron, makers of Regene-CoV (pictured) – a monoclonal antibody COVID treatment – reports that its treatment may not be effective against the new Omicron virus variant

Monoclonal antibody treatment is considered to be most effective in treating COVID patients after they have been infected with the virus.  Other producers of similar drugs have not reported whether they think their drugs will be less effective against the variant.  Image: A patient receives treatment for COVID at a hospital in Russia on October 28

Monoclonal antibody treatment is considered to be most effective in treating COVID patients after they have been infected with the virus. Other producers of similar drugs have not reported whether they think their drugs will be less effective against the variant. Image: A patient receives treatment for COVID at a hospital in Russia on October 28

one in Statement, Regeneron said that a preliminary analysis showed that individual mutations in Omicron indicated that ‘the neutralization activity of both vaccine-induced and monoclonal antibody conveyed immunity may be reduced’.

The analysis included Regeneron’s COVID-19 antibody cocktail REGEN-COV, according to the company.

REGEN-COV is a combination of two medicines: Cacirivimab and Imdevimab.

Both are monoclonal antibodies – laboratory-produced proteins that mimic the immune system – that target the spike protein, which the virus uses to enter and infect cells.

These cocktails deliver virus-fighting antibodies throughout the body, unlike conventional vaccines in which the receiver’s immune system is activated to develop its own antibodies.

Earlier this month, Regeneron said data shows that REGEN-COV reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 81.6% two to eight months after being administered — but that was before the emergence of the Omron version. Was.

Rivals Eli Lilly & Co and Weir Biotechnology Inc., which have also developed COVID-19 antibody drugs, did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Monoclonal antibody treatments such as REGEN-COV are known to be one of the most effective treatments for the virus once a person has been infected.

While they are not a replacement for vaccines, they can be a tool for the uneducated or immunocompromised who do not develop an adequate immune response to the shots.

If these treatments are not effective against the variant, it could be a major setback in the global fight against COVID.

The Omicron variant has more than 50 mutations, more than any other discovered COVID strain.

It also has over 30 mutations of the spike protein, another rarity for this type of virus.

Because COVID-19 vaccines work by targeting the spike protein, many experts fear the virus may evade the protection provided by the jabs.

In the wake of these fears, US vaccine makers are already planning to counter the Omicron variant – which has not yet been sequenced in the US.

BioNTech, which partners with Pfizer to produce and distribute the most commonly used vaccine in the US, announced Monday that it is working on an Omsiron specific jab.

And Johnson & Johnson, maker of the only one-shot vaccine available in the US, made a similar announcement earlier this week.

It’s a waiting game for now, however, as experts may take weeks to learn more about the type, and how it interacts with vaccines and other virus treatments.

Worldwide, 205 cases of Omicron have been confirmed as of Tuesday morning in 18 countries, including the UK and Canada.

Not a single case of the variant has been detected in the US so far, but experts are sure that it has found its way across the borders of countries.

Dr Scott Gottlieb, former director of the US Food and Drug Administration and current board member of Pfizer, said on Sunday that the version is “definitely already here”, waiting to be indexed.

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