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Business News/ News / India/  These two Covid-19 therapies are not recommended by WHO
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These two Covid-19 therapies are not recommended by WHO

Covid-19: The two antibody therapies are designed to work by binding to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 to neutralize the virus' ability to infect cells.

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend two Covid-19 antibody therapies. (Reuters)Premium
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend two Covid-19 antibody therapies. (Reuters)

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend two Covid-19 antibody therapies as Omicron and the variant's latest offshoots have likely rendered them obsolete, according to the news agency Reuters.

These two therapies, some of the first medicines developed early in the pandemic, are designed to work by binding to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 to neutralize the virus' ability to infect cells.

However, both therapies continue to be recommended for use by the European drugs regulator.

Mounting evidence from lab tests suggests that the two therapies (sotrovimab and casirivimab imdevimab) have limited clinical activity against the latest mutations of the virus, as a result, they have fallen out of favor with the US health regulator.

The WHO health experts on Thursday strongly advised the use of the two therapies in patients with Covid-19, reversing previous conditional recommendations endorsing them, as part of a suite of recommendations published in the British Medical Journal.

GSK and partner Vir Biotechnology's sotrovimab, which has generated sales in billions and became one of the British drugmaker's top sellers last year, was pulled off the US market by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April, as per Reuters reports. 

Penny Ward, visiting professor in pharmaceutical medicine at King's College London said that the WHO's realization is coming a little late because the United States had already begun to question sotrovimab's clinical effectiveness against the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in February.

"As WHO has issued this recommendation, it will now be interesting to see how many other countries align with it," Penny Ward said as quoted by Reuters.

Meanwhile, the agency also reported that Regeneron and partner Roche's antibody cocktail casirivimab-imdevimab has also generated billions in sales and was one of the U.S. drugmaker's top sellers last year.

In January this year, the FDA revised its stance on the treatment, limiting its use to a smaller group of patients, citing its diminished potency against the Omicron variant.

Another Covid therapy that emerged early in the pandemic was Gilead's antiviral remdesivir. The WHO expanded its conditional recommendation for the drug, advising that it can be used in patients with severe COVID as well as non-severe COVID patients at the highest risk of hospitalization.

 

(With inputs from Reuters)

 

 

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Published: 16 Sep 2022, 06:28 AM IST
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