(Reuters) -U.S. health officials on Friday decided to resume the supply of Eli Lilly's COVID-19 antibody cocktail to states where variants resistant to it are low, saying the therapy could work against the fast-spreading Delta variant based on lab studies. The Department of Health and Human Services narrowed the scope of authorization for the dual-antibody therapy, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, to states including Colorado, Connecticut and Illinois, Indiana.
With the Delta variant becoming the dominant strain, the prevalence of variants resistant to the therapy is steadily decreasing, the agency said https://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/COVID19/investigation-MCM/Bamlanivimab-etesevimab/Pages/resumption-in-distribution-bamlanivimabetesevimab.aspx.
Based on lab tests, the drugs administered together are expected to retain activity against the Delta variant, but not against Delta plus and variants first identified in Brazil, South Africa and Colombia, it said.
The department had in June paused its distribution after the therapy failed to show effectiveness against the coronavirus variants that were first identified in Brazil and South Africa.
The supply of standalone etesevimab to be paired with existing supply of bamlanivimab is also being resumed to some states.
Regeneron's antibody therapy REGEN-COV, and GlaxoSmithKline Plc and partner Vir Biotechnology's sotrovimab may be used in all states, territories, and U.S. jurisdictions as they are likely to be effective against most variants including Delta, the agency said.
Bamlanivimab and etesevimab, REGEN-COV and sotrovimab are authorized for use in people 12 years and above with mild-to-moderate infection and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)