Two Antibody Drugs Found To Be Ineffective Against Omicron

The FDA has de-authorized two antibody drugs used for to fight COVID-19 infections after drugmakers Eli Lilly and Regeneron announced the infusion drugs don’t work against the Omicron variant which now accounts for 99% of U.S. infections.

One monoclonal antibody treatment by GlaxoSmithKline remains effective against Omicron, though doctors have said it is in short supply.

Regeneron and Eli Lilly say they are currently working on updated versions of the drug that would target the Omicron variant.

Doctors stopped using the two antibody treatments in December as it became apparent they weren’t as effective against Omicron as compared to the earlier Delta variant. But some Republican governors, anxious to have something other than vaccines to point to amid the surge in COVID cases, pushed back against the decision.

For instance, Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis had made the monoclonal antibody treatments his signature solution while opposing vaccine requirements.

But doctors and health officials have continually underlined that vaccines should be the first line of protection against the coronavirus with the antibody treatments reserved for more vulnerable patients like seniors and transplant recipients.

Doctors do have other therapies to battle early COVID-19 cases, including two new antiviral pills from Pfizer and Merck, although both are in short supply.

On Friday, the FDA approved the drug remdesivir for use on an outpatient basis in order to help stave off more hospitalizations.

And Pfizer has announced it is developing an Omicron-specific version of its vaccine.

Read the full AP report here.