The drug ensovibep developed by Molecular Partners has displayed full efficacy against all currently known mutations of SARS-CoV-2 during in-vitro studies. According to a press release issued by the biotechnology firm based in Schlieren in the canton of Zurich, it also retains full potency against the 32 individual mutations observed in the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529). Testing has now been launched to confirm efficacy against the full Omicron variant of the virus, which comprises all mutations simultaneously.
In collaboration with the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Lausanne (CHUV) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA, ensovibep has been consistently tested in vitro against all existing and potential variants of concerns throughout the development process.
“While we are only beginning to understand the impact of the Omicron variant, we are thankful to our collaborators at the CHUV and the NIH for having already assessed the individual mutations of this new variant, providing us with confidence that ensovibep is likely to remain active against this emerging threat”, comments Patrick Amstutz, CEO of Molecular Partners, in the press release.
The global study EMPATHY is also being continued. In this context, Molecular Partners and Novartis are working together to evaluate the capacity of ensovibep to rapidly lower viral loads in addition to preventing worsening symptoms and the hospitalization of patients in the early stages of infection. Data on the first 400 patients is expected to be available in early 2022.