What BQ.1 dominance means for Evusheld, bebtelovimab

With omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 accounting for more than half of COVID-19 cases, at least two therapies are on the cusp of losing their mainstay status in the COVID-19 drug market. 

AstraZeneca's Evusheld, the only COVID-19 preexposure prophylaxis treatment with emergency use authorization, isn't expected to be as effective against new variants, the FDA said in October. The drug is usually used for those who cannot be vaccinated but want protection against the virus. 

About a month after the FDA said Evusheld will wane in efficacy against new mutations, the agency warned that Eli Lilly's COVID-19 drug bebtelovimab is unlikely to neutralize BQ.1 and BQ.1.1. Bebtelovimab is sold commercially for about $2,100 per vial. 

It's unlikely either drug will be pulled from the market if they both continue to offer some protection.


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