AstraZeneca’s COVID drug Evusheld unlikely to neutralize newest variant, FDA says


The Food and Drug Administration late Friday said that AstraZeneca Plc’s AZN, +1.42% COVID-19 drug Evusheld may not provide protection against developing the illness in people exposed to XBB.1.5, one of the newest COVID subvariants. That’s because XBB.1.5 is similar to other subvariants not neutralized by Evusheld, the FDA said. “However, we are awaiting additional data to verify that Evusheld is not active against XBB.1.5. We will provide further updates as new information becomes available,” the agency said. “Health-care providers should inform individuals of the increased risk, compared to other variants, for COVID-19 due to SARS-CoV-2 variants not neutralized by Evusheld.” The FDA said it is “closely monitoring” the emergence of XBB.1.5, which is currently estimated to account for 28% of circulating variants in the U.S., it said. U.S.-listed shares of AstraZeneca edged higher in the extended session Friday after ending the regular trading day up 1.4%.

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