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COVID-19 drug AstraZeneca disables minor variants of Omicron

COVID-19 drug AstraZeneca disables minor variants of Omicron
AstraZeneca’s Evusheld monoclonal antibody. Photo: AFP

On March 21, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced that the anti-Evusheld drug, which can prevent and treat COVID-19 can still neutralize Omicron sub-variants, including the “stealth” version BA. . 2 is very contagious.

Earlier, in December 2021, the UK-Sweden joint venture drug manufacturer said that another study showed that Evusheld neutralized the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Data from the latest study from the University of Washington in the US showed that the therapy reduced the viral load of all Omicron variants (BA. 1, BA. 1.1 and BA. 2) tested in rat lungs. This result has not yet been re-examined by the expert panel.

During research studies, Evusheld was shown to save lives and prevent disease progression if people with COVID-19 inject it within a week of the onset of symptoms. It also shows the ability to limit inflammation in the lungs – a key symptom in severe cases of COVID-19.

“These findings help solidify Evusheld as an important option to help protect vulnerable patients from COVID-19,” said John Perez, head of vaccine development at AstraZeneca. 19″.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) voiced concern about the current increase in the number of COVID-19 cases globally, amid the Omicron and BA variant. 2 spread as governments loosened quarantine policies.

Last week, Britain’s Medicines Regulatory Agency said that Evusheld had been shown to reduce the risk of developing symptoms of COVID-19 by 77% in trials and approved the use of preventive therapy. This is for immunocompromised adults.

While vaccines rely on the immune system to develop antibodies and infection-fighting cells, the drug Evusheld contains antibodies that are made in a laboratory and will stay in the body for months to stop the virus from invading encroachment.

This treatment has been authorized in the US and is under review in Europe.

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