A new animal model shows that monoclonal antibodies combined with another new drug can prevent and treat Omicron infections in monkeys, researchers showed on Monday in Nature Microbiology
Antibodies identify specific regions on the spike protein the SARS-CoV virus uses to infect cells. New antigens seen in these antibodies prevent all SARS-CoV variants up to Omicron BA.2 from replicating, said Dr. Didier Trono of the Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne.
“P2G3 comes to the rescue as it not only can fight the current strain of SARS-CoV, but also blocks two other strains: BA4 and BA5. This even includes strains that are resistant to Eli Lilly’s (LLY) bebetelovimab, which is used for drugs approved for use in clinics that still exhibit activity against the dominant strain of SARS-CoV.”
In lab experiments, mutations that may make SARS-CoV-2 variants resistant to P2G3 did not allow escape from P5C3, and P5C3 escape mutants were still blocked by P2G3. “In essence, the two antibodies cover for one another and compensate for each other’s errors,” Dr. Trono said.
Aerium Therapeutics plans to start testing the combination in humans next month, according to one of the company’s cofounders, Trono. Aerium Therapeutics was also mentioned to being a possible combination among vaccines for people who are immune compromised. While larger trials have not yet confirmed their findings, Aerium’s P5C3/P2G3 vaccine could be given as an injection every three-to-six months to people who don’t have a strong response to COVID-19 vaccines.