SARS-CoV-2-neutralising monoclonal antibodies to prevent COVID-19

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2022 Jun 17;6(6):CD014945. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD014945.pub2.

Abstract

Background: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are laboratory-produced molecules derived from the B cells of an infected host. They are being investigated as potential prophylaxis to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Objectives: To assess the effects of SARS-CoV-2-neutralising mAbs, including mAb fragments, to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19; and to maintain the currency of the evidence, using a living systematic review approach.

Search methods: We searched the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, MEDLINE, Embase, and three other databases on 27 April 2022. We checked references, searched citations, and contacted study authors to identify additional studies.

Selection criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated SARS-CoV-2-neutralising mAbs, including mAb fragments, alone or combined, versus an active comparator, placebo, or no intervention, for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) of COVID-19. We excluded studies of SARS-CoV-2-neutralising mAbs to treat COVID-19, as these are part of another review.

Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently assessed search results, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias using Cochrane RoB 2. Prioritised outcomes were infection with SARS-CoV-2, development of clinical COVID-19 symptoms, all-cause mortality, admission to hospital, quality of life, adverse events (AEs), and serious adverse events (SAEs). We rated the certainty of evidence using GRADE.

Main results: We included four RCTs of 9749 participants who were previously uninfected and unvaccinated at baseline. Median age was 42 to 76 years. Around 20% to 77.5% of participants in the PrEP studies and 35% to 100% in the PEP studies had at least one risk factor for severe COVID-19. At baseline, 72.8% to 82.2% were SARS-CoV-2 antibody seronegative. We identified four ongoing studies, and two studies awaiting classification. Pre-exposure prophylaxis Tixagevimab/cilgavimab versus placebo One study evaluated tixagevimab/cilgavimab versus placebo in participants exposed to SARS-CoV-2 wild-type, Alpha, Beta, and Delta variant. About 39.3% of participants were censored for efficacy due to unblinding and 13.8% due to vaccination. Within six months, tixagevimab/cilgavimab probably decreases infection with SARS-CoV-2 (risk ratio (RR) 0.45, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.29 to 0.70; 4685 participants; moderate-certainty evidence), decreases development of clinical COVID-19 symptoms (RR 0.18, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.35; 5172 participants; high-certainty evidence), and may decrease admission to hospital (RR 0.03, 95% CI 0 to 0.59; 5197 participants; low-certainty evidence). Tixagevimab/cilgavimab may result in little to no difference on mortality within six months, all-grade AEs, and SAEs (low-certainty evidence). Quality of life was not reported. Casirivimab/imdevimab versus placebo One study evaluated casirivimab/imdevimab versus placebo in participants who may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 wild-type, Alpha, and Delta variant. About 36.5% of participants opted for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and had a mean of 66.1 days between last dose of intervention and vaccination. Within six months, casirivimab/imdevimab may decrease infection with SARS-CoV-2 (RR 0.01, 95% CI 0 to 0.14; 825 seronegative participants; low-certainty evidence) and may decrease development of clinical COVID-19 symptoms (RR 0.02, 95% CI 0 to 0.27; 969 participants; low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain whether casirivimab/imdevimab affects mortality regardless of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody serostatus. Casirivimab/imdevimab may increase all-grade AEs slightly (RR 1.14, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.31; 969 participants; low-certainty evidence). The evidence is very uncertain about the effects on grade 3 to 4 AEs and SAEs within six months. Admission to hospital and quality of life were not reported. Postexposure prophylaxis Bamlanivimab versus placebo One study evaluated bamlanivimab versus placebo in participants who may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 wild-type. Bamlanivimab probably decreases infection with SARS-CoV-2 versus placebo by day 29 (RR 0.76, 95% CI 0.59 to 0.98; 966 participants; moderate-certainty evidence), may result in little to no difference on all-cause mortality by day 60 (R 0.83, 95% CI 0.25 to 2.70; 966 participants; low-certainty evidence), may increase all-grade AEs by week eight (RR 1.12, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.46; 966 participants; low-certainty evidence), and may increase slightly SAEs (RR 1.46, 95% CI 0.73 to 2.91; 966 participants; low-certainty evidence). Development of clinical COVID-19 symptoms, admission to hospital within 30 days, and quality of life were not reported. Casirivimab/imdevimab versus placebo One study evaluated casirivimab/imdevimab versus placebo in participants who may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 wild-type, Alpha, and potentially, but less likely to Delta variant. Within 30 days, casirivimab/imdevimab decreases infection with SARS-CoV-2 (RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.48; 1505 participants; high-certainty evidence), development of clinical COVID-19 symptoms (broad-term definition) (RR 0.19, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.35; 1505 participants; high-certainty evidence), may result in little to no difference on mortality (RR 3.00, 95% CI 0.12 to 73.43; 1505 participants; low-certainty evidence), and may result in little to no difference in admission to hospital. Casirivimab/imdevimab may slightly decrease grade 3 to 4 AEs (RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.24 to 1.02; 2617 participants; low-certainty evidence), decreases all-grade AEs (RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.80; 2617 participants; high-certainty evidence), and may result in little to no difference on SAEs in participants regardless of SARS-CoV-2 antibody serostatus. Quality of life was not reported.

Authors' conclusions: For PrEP, there is a decrease in development of clinical COVID-19 symptoms (high certainty), infection with SARS-CoV-2 (moderate certainty), and admission to hospital (low certainty) with tixagevimab/cilgavimab. There is low certainty of a decrease in infection with SARS-CoV-2, and development of clinical COVID-19 symptoms; and a higher rate for all-grade AEs with casirivimab/imdevimab. For PEP, there is moderate certainty of a decrease in infection with SARS-CoV-2 and low certainty for a higher rate for all-grade AEs with bamlanivimab. There is high certainty of a decrease in infection with SARS-CoV-2, development of clinical COVID-19 symptoms, and a higher rate for all-grade AEs with casirivimab/imdevimab. Although there is high-to-moderate certainty evidence for some outcomes, it is insufficient to draw meaningful conclusions. These findings only apply to people unvaccinated against COVID-19. They are only applicable to the variants prevailing during the study and not other variants (e.g. Omicron). In vitro, tixagevimab/cilgavimab is effective against Omicron, but there are no clinical data. Bamlanivimab and casirivimab/imdevimab are ineffective against Omicron in vitro. Further studies are needed and publication of four ongoing studies may resolve the uncertainties.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04497987 NCT04519437 NCT04452318 NCT04625725 NCT04518410 NCT04501978 NCT04427501 NCT04634409 NCT04545060 NCT04602000 NCT04593641 NCT04411628 NCT04426695 NCT04666441 NCT04931238 NCT04790786 NCT04381936 NCT04425629 NCT04333732 NCT04894474 NCT04625972 NCT04859517 NCT05142527 NCT05184062.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological*
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • SARS-CoV-2

Substances

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • tixagevimab
  • cilgavimab
  • imdevimab
  • bamlanivimab
  • casirivimab

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04497987
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04519437
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04452318
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04625725
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04518410
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04501978
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04427501
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04634409
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04545060
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04602000
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04593641
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04411628
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04426695
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04666441
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04931238
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04790786
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04381936
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04425629
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04333732
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04894474
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04625972
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04859517
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT05142527
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT05184062