Lab tests: Eli Lilly, Regeneron antibody therapies lose out against Omicron

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FRANKFURT, Dec 14 (Reuters) – German researchers have found that COVID-19 therapies developed by Eli Lilly (LLY.N) and Regeneron (REGN.O) lose most of their effectiveness when exposed in laboratory tests to the Omicron variant of coronavirus, likely reducing treatment options if the new variant prevails.

Two groups of Germany based scientists separately found that protection from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) and Vir’s (VIR.O) antibody cocktail Xevudy held up when exposed to Omicron in lab experiments, but that this was not the case for Lilly’s antibodies, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, and the antibodies in Regeneron’s Ronapreve drug.

“The neutralizing activity of several monoclonal antibodies is strongly affected against the Omicron variant and will limit treatment options for Omicron-induced COVID-19,” one of the groups, comprising Cologne and Berlin-based scientists, said in their paper that was posted online on Tuesday.

The other group of researchers, most of whom were Goettingen-based, said they found the Eli Lilly antibody cocktail failed to inhibit Omicron viruses from entering human cells, while Regeneron’s Ronapreve was “inefficient” in inhibiting Omicron. GKS’s sotrovimab, however, remained active against the variant.

The findings have not yet been peer-reviewed for publication in a medical journal.

LESS EFFECTIVE

A sign is pictured outside an Eli Lilly and Company pharmaceutical manufacturing plant at 50 ImClone Drive in Branchburg, New Jersey, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Reuters source:

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/lab-test-eli-lilly-regeneron-antibody-therapies-lose-out-against-omicron-2021-12-14