Brazilian Covid variant in Illinois leads to a pause in shipments of Lilly’s mAb combo
The US is pausing shipments of Eli Lilly’s Covid-19 treatment combo (bamlanivimab and etesevimab) to Illinois because of the increased frequency of the coronavirus variant that originated in Brazil, known also as the P.1 variant.
The FDA is now recommending that health care providers in Illinois instead use Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody combo therapy of casirivimab with imdevimab, which it said is likely to retain activity against the P.1 variant, until further notice.
A Lilly spokesperson told Endpoints News in an emailed statement, “When you review the last 30 days of data from the GISAID database, the majority of variants currently circulating in the U.S. are neutralized by bamlanivimab and etesevimab together. Prevalence varies by state and can change rapidly, which is why ASPR and FDA have decided to temporarily halt shipment to Illinois. A recent example is the L452R variant (California origin) – it was dominant in a few states about a month ago and has declined rapidly in recent weeks.”
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and FDA added in a statement last week that other states, even those neighboring Illinois, are not impacted by the pause.
The landscape for mAbs to treat Covid-19 before hospitalizations have shifted in recent months.
Last month, FDA revoked the EUA for Lilly’s bamlanivimab, which it said is no longer as effective as the combo therapy because of this rise in coronavirus variants.
And in April, the FDA also updated its three fact sheets on the mAbs from Lilly and Regeneron, offering new data on the susceptibility of the SARS-CoV-2 variants originating in the UK, Brazil, South Africa, California and New York to each of the mAb therapies.
Regeneron’s therapy showed the least reduction in susceptibility against the variants.