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Covid-19: a treatment authorized in the hope that it will be effective against Omicron

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A new weapon against Omicron. A new anti-Covid treatment with synthetic antibodies, Xevudy, has been approved by the French health authorities, who consider it promising against infection with Omicron while other drugs have just been withdrawn because of their ineffectiveness against the new variant. Based on the sotrovimab molecule, it will therefore be, for the time being, the only antibody treatment that can be used after a proven infection with Omicron. Another treatment of this type, Evusheld from AstraZeneca, is also considered effective against Omicron but it is given preventively, especially in people whose body is resistant to vaccination.

For those over 12 at risk who have just been infected

The High Authority for Health (HAS) “authorizes early access to a new curative treatment, Xevudy (…) from GSK”, announced this body in a press release. This medication is intended for people over 12 years of age who have just been infected with the coronavirus and are considered at risk of severe form. “It is recommended to be administered within five days of the onset of symptoms,” explains the authority. Xevudy is administered intravenously. It is part of the synthetic antibody treatments, several of which have already been authorized since the start of the pandemic.

Treatments withdrawn because ineffective against Omicron

But the arrival of the Omicron variant, more resistant to vaccines and other drugs, has made some of these treatments obsolete. The French health authorities thus stopped recommending Ronapreve from Roche in early January in the event of infection with Omicron, even if it remains authorized against Delta, the previous dominant variant. Worse, they completely withdrew Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab / etesivimab combination from circulation, and its results were also disappointing against Delta.

Unlike these two treatments, Xevudy “presents a mechanism of action which makes it possible to hope for the maintenance of its effectiveness on the variants, including the Omicron variant”, explains the HAS. “In vitro data suggest the maintenance of the neutralizing activity of sotrovimab when that of other available monoclonal antibodies decreases or even disappears”, she explains.

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