There is no real need for booster vaccination, said experts even as JN.1, from the lineage of Omicron variant of Covid, is rapidly spreading in the country.
AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish pharmaceutical company, has reported that its antibody medication ‘Evusheld’ is effective against Covid-19’s novel vaccine-evading Omicron strain.
The discovery is based on data from the University College Oxford in the United Kingdom and the Washington University School of Medicine in the United States, which showed that Evusheld (tixagevimab co-packaged with cilgavimab) retains neutralisation activity against the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant (B.1.1.529), according to the company.
Despite the fact that the Omicron variant was not in use during the Evusheld clinical studies, the business stated that it is still collecting data to better understand the implications of the findings in clinical practice. Both studies’ findings were published on the preprint server bioRxiv, although they have not yet been peer-reviewed.
The US Food and Drug Administration awarded Evusheld, an injectable monoclonal antibody cocktail of tixagevimab co-packaged with cilgavimab, an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Covid-19 in persons with impaired immune systems, in early December. It’s the first time a drug authority has given a EUA to an antibody treatment for Covid-19.
According to the researchers, the neutralising potency levels are within the range of titres seen in people who have been naturally infected with Covid-19 and recovered.
The results came from laboratory testing with a live virus obtained from people who had infected the Omicron form of Covid-19, which is regarded as the “gold standard” for antibody neutralisation research.
In these two investigations, Evusheld was one of only two antibody treatments approved for use that showed neutralising activity against Omicron and all other variants of concern.
“Consistent data across three independent studies now provide confidence that Evusheld — a combination of two highly potent antibodies — retains neutralising activity against the Omicron variant at a level that will continue to benefit patients,” said Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca’s Executive Vice-President of BioPharmaceuticals R&D.
“Evusheld is now accessible to assist protect vulnerable individuals, such as the immunocompromised, who are unable to mount an effective vaccine response and are at high risk of Covid-19,” Pangalos noted.
Evusheld has also received approval from drug authorities in France and Italy, in addition to the United States.