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Neutralising monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19


A number of monoclonal antibodies have been developed for use in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Clinical research has shown that these monoclonal antibodies inhibit viral replication in recently infected non-hospitalised patients to a limited extent. Pending their possible authorisation, the EMA concludes that monoclonal antibodies can be used in specific cases of high-risk patients with proven COVID-19 who do not yet need oxygen therapy. It remains unclear, however, whether there is a place for monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of COVID-19. On theoretical grounds, they might be suitable for immunocompromised patients.

  • Studies have shown very limited effectiveness of neutralising monoclonal antibodies in terms of viral reduction. The inhibition found is not clinically relevant. 
  • Their effect on hard endpoints, like reducing hospitalisations and disease progression, has so far been shown to a limited extent only in studies published in peer-reviewed journals. 
  • Disadvantages include their intravenous administration and the expected high costs.
  • It is not clear whether there is a place for neutralising monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of COVID-19. On theoretical grounds, they might be suitable for immunocompromised patients.
     

Disclaimer 
This article refers as much as possible to the current situation for COVID-19 and has been updated until just before publication. Studies and reports published after 25 June 2021 could not, however, be reviewed here.


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Authors

  • Leo M.L. Stolk, dr
  • Maja Bulatović-Ćalasan