Omicron Sublineage Resists Lone Effective Drug
The sole COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy shown to be effective for patients infected with the Omicron variant - sotrovimab from Vir Biotechnology and GSK - is unlikely to do as well against at least one new version of the variant spreading globally, new research suggests. The World Health Organization is currently monitoring several Omicron sublineages. Data posted on bioRxiv ahead of peer review showed that the rapidly spreading BA.2 sublineage exhibited marked resistance to sotrovimab in lab experiments, researchers said.
@prisha Britain-based GSK announced that its drug does retain the ability to neutralize BA.2 in a test tube. David Ho of Columbia University, senior author of the bioRxiv report, said his research "also showed that sotrovimab still has activity against BA.2, consistent with their statement. But its activity is down substantially, 27-fold as stated in our preprint." In repeat experiments, the drop was even more pronounced, he said of testing done after the paper was submitted. Two antibody drugs from AstraZeneca - cilgavimab and tixagevimab - did remain effective against BA.2, but they are only approved for preventing COVID-19 in certain circumstances, not for treating it.