Feds Pause Development for Two ‘Monoclonal Antibody Treatments’

Monoclonal antibody treatments. | Image from Fox4

Texas Department of State Health Services announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notified them that development for “monoclonal antibody treatments” from Regeneron and Eli Lilly had been paused.

According to recent studies on the Omicron variant, these two treatments “significantly decreased efficacy.”

According to Spectrum News 1, monoclonal antibody treatments are composed of molecules that are produced in labs and “act as a substitute for antibodies that can restore, enhance or mimic the immune system’s attack on cells.”

Regeneron and Eli Lilly have successfully fought the initial virus and the Delta variant. The two treatments have been “keeping those who test positive out of the hospital,” according to CBS DFW. The Omicron variant has changed that.

“The monoclonal antibodies that were pulled off from use makes perfect sense because studies have shown that they have very little benefit against the Omicron variant,” said Texas Health Resources doctor Nikhil Bhayani, who specializes in infectious diseases.

The state suggests that doctors and nurses should only provide Regeneron and Eli Lilly if “laboratory evidence” shows that the patient carries a different strain than Omicron.

Officials say that Sotrovimab may be the treatment needed for Omicron, but supply is low. The government advises that immunocompromised individuals, first responders, and health care workers should get the treatment first if they test positive.

“That’s a very difficult position for us to be in,” said Brooks Wiliams, city manager of Ferris in Ellis County. “We have to then determine at that moment, do we deploy this asset to this individual? Or do we hold it for somebody down the road?”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Omicron accounts for 73% of new cases in the U.S..”

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