Effectiveness of Monoclonal Antibodies Against COVID-19 Variants

Effectiveness of Monoclonal Antibodies Against COVID-19 Variants

Monoclonal antibodies are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of severe disease. But how well monoclonal antibodies work against COVID-19 caused by recent coronavirus variants hasn't been clear. An opportunity to find out occurred last December, when Einstein-Montefiore started participating in a federal program to improve access to the monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab in underserved communities. Over the next three months, 649 non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients at Montefiore were treated with bamlanivimab.

In a paper published online on June 12 in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, researchers reported that the rate at which monoclonal-antibody-treated people were admitted to the hospital rose from 6% in December 2020 to 13% in March 2021, indicating an increased presence of bamlanivimab-resistant variants in New York City. Since April, due to these findings, the Montefiore program has treated patients exclusively with monoclonal antibody cocktails proven effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants.

The corresponding author was Kelsie Cowman, M.P.H., a principal associate in the department of medicine at Einstein. The senior author was Priya Nori, M.D., associate professor of medicine and of orthopaedic surgery at Einstein and Montefiore.