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Study shows Evusheld jabs effective against Omicron sub-variants

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New preclinical authentic “live” virus data from Washington University’s School of Medicine demonstrated that Evusheld injection (combination of tixagevimab and cilgavimab) is potent in neutralising the highly transmissible Omicron BA.2 subvariant. The data also showed that Evusheld is effective against BA.1 and BA.1.1 subvariants.

In addition, in vivo (live organism) data generated using mice infected with Omicron BA.1, BA.1.1 and BA.2 demonstrated that Evusheld significantly reduced the viral burden and limited inflammation in the lungs for all three subvariants. Covid-19 viral load is associated with increased disease severity and mortality as well as post-Covid conditions (long Covid).

The study used a transgenic mouse model to evaluate Evusheld in pre-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) of Covid-19, similar to how Evusheld is used in the clinic. These are the first in vivo data evaluating Evusheld’s efficacy against the Omicron variants versus previous in vitro neutralising activity assays in cultured cells.

The Washington University findings were reported on bioRxiv, a preprint server.

Michael S Diamond, a professor at Washington University’s departments of Medicine, Molecular Microbiology, Pathology & Immunology, said: “These new in vivo mouse model data confirm previous in vitro neutralisation activity results for Evusheld against Omicron. The findings demonstrate that Evusheld was effective at protecting against infection in the lungs, a critical disease site for severe Covid-19, across all Omicron subvariants tested.”

John Perez, senior vice president and chief of Late Development, Vaccines & Immune Therapies for AstraZeneca, said: “These important data show that Evusheld reduced viral burden and limited inflammation caused by Omicron. The findings further support Evusheld as a potentially important option to help protect vulnerable patients such as the immunocompromised who may face poor outcomes if they were to become infected with Covid-19.”

Additional “live” virus data from Aix-Marseilles University and pseudovirus data from the US Food and Drug Administration also demonstrated that Evusheld neutralises BA.2. According to the World Health Organisation, cases of BA.2 have been identified in 85 countries to date, with prevalence increasing in several parts of the world.

Evusheld is authorised for pre-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) of Covid-19 in the US and several other countries. Evusheld is intended for vulnerable populations who have a medical condition or are receiving immunosuppressive medications or treatments and may not mount an adequate immune response to Covid-19 vaccination, as well as those individuals for whom Covid-19 vaccination is not recommended.

Published : March 22, 2022

By : THE NATION