Health authorities restrict the use of Xevudy, ineffective against subvariant BA.2

published on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 09:07

As the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) reminds us, only two other drugs against Covid-19 are still approved in France, including the current version of Omicron: Evusheld by AstraZeneca.

Ineffective against the now extremely dominant BA.2 subvariant in France was Xevudy, a drug against Covid-19 restricted by the French health authorities Friday, April 29th The High Authority for Health (HAS) “retains early access approval of this product only for patients affected by a strain other than the BA.2 Omicron variant subline,” it summarizes in a press release.

In fact, this amounts to rule out almost every recipe Xevudy, a synthetic antibody developed by UK GSK, as BA.2 now represents the vast majority of coronavirus contamination.

There is one in France “practically exclusive distribution of the BA.2 subline”, the French health authority stated in its weekly update on Friday.

However, the intravenous Xevudy, intended for people who have recently been infected with the coronavirus and who are at risk of a severe form, had emerged one of the only treatments to maintain its effectiveness against the Omicron variant when it was launched in late 2021. However, the previously dominant version of Omicron, BA.1, has since been replaced by BA.2, against which this treatment is therefore much less effective.

As the HAS reminds us, only two other drugs against Covid-19 are still approved in France, including the current version of Omicron: Evus Hero by AstraZeneca, administered preventively to people at risk who cannot benefit from vaccination, and Paxlovid, the pill from the Pfizer laboratory. This is aimed at the same public as Xevudy – people who are at risk and have just been infected – but remains in place little given by doctors, especially in view of a complex regulation procedure. However, the HAS recently issued an opinion that could allow for simplification.

In France, the decline continues

According to numbers released by health authorities on Friday, the virus is continues its decline in France. A total of 52,919 new positive cases for the Omicron variant were registered over the 24-hour period, compared to 59,760 cases on Thursday. The statistically more significant 7-day average has dropped to 61,628 daily contaminations versus 84,516 a week earlier. At the beginning of April it was over 130,000.

The number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 is also to 23,579 compared to 24,130 the previous day, according to data from Public Health France. A week ago it was 24,883. Inside the hospital, critical care is also affected by this drop: on Friday there were 1,591 Covid-19 patients, down from 1,629 on Thursday and 1,645 seven days ago. The epidemic has caused again the death of 158 people in 24 hours, This brought the total number of deaths in France to 145,869 in more than two years.

Little has changed when it comes to vaccination: 54.3 million people have had at least one vaccination (ie 80.6% of the total population) and 53.4 million are now on a full vaccination schedule (or 79.2% of the total population), according to Health Department figures.

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