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MADISON — Bebtelovimab, a monoclonal antibody treatment, formerly used to treat COVID-19, is no longer authorized in the United States.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is aware that Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are increasing in prevalence across the Midwest.

However, this drug is not expected to neutralize these variants. According to the CDC NowCast, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 accounted for 49.4% of variants circulating in the Midwest during the week ending on Nov. 26, and this proportion is expected to continue to increase.

The decision to halt the use of Bebtelovimab was made by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 30. They based this decision on the rapidly increasing prevalence of the Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 which are highly resistant to Bebtelovimab.

The distribution of this medication has been paused. DHS refers to the FDA’s press release noting that FDA recommends that all Bebtelovimab be retained in the event susceptible variants become more prevalent in the future.

Effective treatments

FDA, CDC, and NIH are closely monitoring SARS-CoV-2 variants that may impact the use of other therapies authorized for emergency use.

At this time, Evusheld, the monoclonal therapy used for pre-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19, has also shown reduced neutralization activity against BQ.1 and BQ. 1.1 variants. This medication is authorized for use.

Providers are encouraged to use other authorized or approved products that retain activity against BQ.1 and BQ.1.1.

NIH clinical guidelines provide the latest treatment recommendations.

Paxlovid (ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir) remains the preferred treatment for patients at risk for severe disease, followed by Veklury (remdesivir). Lastly, Lagevrio (molnupiravir) may be considered when other therapeutics are not available, feasible to use, or clinically appropriate.

COVID-19 help

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin and are at risk for severe disease may access a COVID-19 Treatment Telehealth Appointment to be evaluated for treatment. This new service from DHS is available 7 days per week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Patients may access the service via an online portal or by calling 1-833-273-6330.


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The Racine County Eye and Kenosha Lens is committed to publishing the most current and accurate information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in our Coronavirus section. View both the Racine County COVID-19 Dashboard and Kenosha County COVID-19 Dashboard offering real-time (updated Monday – Friday) statistical reporting for Racine and Kenosha Counties. Subscribe today to stay up-to-date with local news.

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