Bebtelovimab monoclonal antibody is the only effective against all Omicron variants

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Bebtelovimab monoclonal antibody is the only effective against all Omicron variants

Only one approved monoclonal antibody, bebtelovimab, has been shown to be effective in treating all three variants of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, according to a new scientific study.

Researchers at Columbia University in New York and Hong Kong, led by Professor David Ho, who published the paper in the journal Nature, conducted laboratory experiments with 19 monoclonal antibodies. Of these, 17 (including sotrovimab) were found to be ineffective against subtype BA.2, also known as “Omicron 2”.

The only effective antibody against all three known Omicron subtypes, BA.1, BA.1.1 and BA.2, was found to be bebtelovimab, which was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cilgavimab (alone or in combination with tixagevimab) was found to be effective against Homicron 2, but not against the original Homicron (BA.1).

The new study also confirmed that the efficacy of mRNA vaccines is reduced compared to all three Homicron variants. However, the reduction in the neutralizing capacity of the vaccines is smaller if one has taken three doses of Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna.

“The emergence of new variants reduces our treatment options and is a challenge to the effectiveness of our existing vaccines. “It is crucial that we do not relax prematurely and continue to develop new strategies to curb this ever-evolving pathogen,” said Dr. Ho.

Omicron was first observed in November 2021. Since December, the incidence of the initial variant BA.1 has been gradually decreasing and those of BA.1.1, which are currently estimated at about 40% worldwide, are gradually increasing. BA.2 subtype is responsible for only 10% of coronavirus infections worldwide, but its proportion is on the rise and is already prevalent in Denmark, South Africa and India. The three subtypes have 21 common mutations in their spike protein.

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