WHO recommends drugs from Eli Lilly, GSK-Vir, widens COVID-19 treatment pool

A panel of the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the use of two drugs by Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology. COVID-19 Adding patients, treatment options as spread rapidly The Omicron version offers several ineffective,

WHO data shows omicron, which is evading the protection provided by many vaccines and treatments, has been identified in 149 countries. It is rapidly replacing Delta as the dominant version in many countries, forcing governments and scientists to bolster defenses with tests, shots and treatments.

The panel on Thursday strongly recommended Lilly’s baricitinib, sold under the brand name Olumiant, for patients with severe COVID-19 in combination with corticosteroids, while GSK-Vir for non-serious patients at the highest risk of hospitalization. Conditionally supported antibody therapy.

So far, GSK-Vir’s monoclonal antibody therapy is the only one that has shown effectiveness against Omicron in laboratory trials, while similar treatments from Eli Lilly & Company and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have provided less protection in such trials.

WHO experts noted that the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody therapies – laboratory-generated compounds that mimic the body’s natural defenses – against newer forms such as Omicron was still uncertain, and added that this class of drug will be available when additional data are available. Guidelines will be updated. ,

WHO guidelines published in the British Medical Journal also noted that while evidence suggests that baricitinib improves survival rates and reduces the need for ventilation, no increase in adverse effects has been observed.

The French medical charity Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) welcomed the UN agency’s guidelines, and said that baricitinib could be a potential alternative to current WHO-recommended monoclonal antibody therapies that are being used by governments and patients in many low- and middle-income countries. remain in short supply. , MSF also said that governments should take steps to ensure that patents do not come in the way of access to monopoly remedies.