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Characterization of treatment resistance and viral kinetics in the setting of single- versus dual-active monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

BACKGROUND: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) represent a crucial antiviral strategy for SARS-CoV-2 infection, but it is unclear whether combination mAbs offer a benefit over single-active mAb treatment. Amubarvimab and romlusevimab significantly reduced the risk of hospitalizations or death in the ACTIV-2/A5401 trial. Certain SARS-CoV-2 variants are intrinsically resistant against romlusevimab, leading to only single-active mAb therapy with amubarvimab in these variants. We evaluated virologic outcomes in individuals treated with single- versus dual-active mAbs.

METHODS: Participants were non-hospitalized adults at higher risk of clinical progression randomized to amubarvimab plus romlusevimab or placebo. Quantitative SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels and targeted S gene next-generation sequencing was performed on anterior nasal samples. We compared viral load kinetics and resistance emergence between individuals treated with effective single- versus dual-active mAbs depending on the infecting variant.

RESULTS: Study participants receiving single- and dual-active mAbs had similar demographics, baseline nasal viral load, symptom score, and symptom duration. Compared to single-active mAb, treatment with dual-active mAbs led to faster viral load decline at study day 3 (p < 0.001) and day 7 (p < 0.01). Treatment-emergent resistance mutations were more likely to be detected after amubarvimab plus romlusevimab treatment than placebo (2.6% vs 0%, P < 0.001), and more frequently detected in the setting of single-active compared to dual-active mAb treatment (7.2% vs 1.1%, p < 0.01). Single-active and dual-active mAb treatment resulted in similar decrease in rates of hospitalizations or death.

CONCLUSION: Compared to single-active mAb therapy, dual-active mAbs led to similar clinical outcomes, but significantly faster viral load decline and a lower risk of emergent resistance.

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