Covid-19 roundup: French regulators not ready to give molnupiravir the OK; Brii claims China’s first antibody is effective against Omicron
Merck’s potential Covid-19 treatment molnupiravir will not be used in France, French regulators said Friday.
The French National Authority of Health cited the potential impact of the Omicron variant, the fact that Regeneron’s mAb cocktail is more effective, and the pill’s own lack of efficacy as reasons for denying early access of the drug to patients experiencing mild to moderate cases of Covid-19. France has already pre-ordered hundreds of thousands of the pills, with the goal of treating 50,000 patients.
In the US, the FDA’s antimicrobial drugs advisory committee last month voted 13-10 in favor of the pill’s benefits outweighing the risks for adults within 5 days of developing Covid symptoms. Bu the FDA has yet to authorize the pill.
Brii claims China’s first antibody is effective against Omicron
Brii Biosciences is standing by its Covid-19 antibody cocktail’s ability to fight against the Omicron variant, the Chinese biotech announced Monday, even though one of the antibodies showed a drop in activity when it was tested alone.
The cocktail was the first approved in China last week, but will not be available for purchase until data is published in a scientific journal. Results from three different labs showed similarities, CEO Zhi Hong said.
“We believe the amubarvimab/romlusevimab combination has the potential to be a best-in-class treatment option for a broad range of high risk COVID-19 patients. These latest findings underscore that our combination antibody therapy holds up well against the Omicron variant that pose a significant public health threat worldwide,” he said in a statement.
The company has secured manufacturing deals for 1 million doses a year over the next two years, and 80,000 doses are already in inventory. No purchase deals have been announced so far.