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Is there any data on the use of bamlanivimab or casirivimab and imdevimab for use in COVID-19 variants?

Comment by InpharmD Researcher

No published evidence exists regarding the anti-COVID antibodies against the known variants of COVID-19. Bamlanivimab is expected to be effective against the UK variant of COVID-19; however, the South African variant may be able to evade bamlanivimab. Casirivimab and imdevimab are expected to work against both variants, although the South African variant may be able to evade one of the agents in the cocktail.

The CEO of Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of bamlanivimab, has told news outlets that he believes bamlanivimab is effective against the coronavirus variant found in the UK. However, he stated bamlanivimab's efficacy against the South Africa strain may be of concern. The South Africa variant has more dramatic mutations to the spike protein, and it could theoretically evade bamlanivimab. [1-3]

A spokesperson from Regeneron, the manufacturer of casirivimab and imdevimab, states that data, including data from preliminary neutralization analyses and against other currently circulating variants, indicates the antibody cocktail will remain effective against new strains. However, one of the antibodies in the cocktail may be susceptible to the South African variant of COVID-19. While the other is expected to work, the efficacy of casirivimab and imdevimab against the South African strain is unknown. The antibody cocktail was designed to combat new variants, as demonstrated by in vitro studies. [1-5]


[1] Sagonowsky E. With many Regeneron and Lilly antibodies going unused, new candidates aim to ease dosing and defeat variants Updated January 21, 2021. Accessed January 22, 2021.
[2] Reuters staff. UPDATE 1-Regeneron says antibodies likely potent vs virus variants, Lilly concerned about S. Africa version. Updated January 11, 2021. Accessed January 22, 2021.
[3] Stankiewicz K. Covid strain found in South Africa ‘could evade’ Eli Lilly’s antibody drug, CEO warns. Updated January 12, 2021. Accessed January 22, 2021.
[4] Baum A, Fulton BO, Wloga E, et al. Antibody cocktail to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein prevents rapid mutational escape seen with individual antibodies. Science. 2020;369(6506):1014-1018. doi:10.1126/science.abd0831
[5] Hansen J, Baum A, Pascal KE, et al. Studies in humanized mice and convalescent humans yield a SARS-CoV-2 antibody cocktail. Science. 2020;369(6506):1010-1014. doi:10.1126/science.abd0827