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Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19 Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Can’t Come Fast Enough for Some People, Including those with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia)

This content was current as of the date it was released. In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge.

We know that vaccines don’t work to prevent COVID-19 for many in the immunocompromised community including those with CLL.

We also now know that passive immunity using monoclonal antibodies, specifically tixagevimab and cilgavimab or AZD7442, does work for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP. The PROVENT trial showed a 77% reduction in symptomatic COVID-19. The trial included some immunocompromised patients, including myself. We are eagerly waiting for that subgroup analysis. There is every reason to believe it will protect CLL and other immune-compromised patients from COVID-19, but we would like to see the data.

PrEP is a proven method for preventing infections in other diseases such as HIV and it makes sense as a strategy for the immune-compromised for COVID-19 prophylaxis.

Please take a look at this strong article published in the prestigious medical journal, JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

CLL Society and yours truly were prominently featured. I am grateful to the excellent reporter, Rita Rubin for highlighting this important issue.

CLL Society is leading a charge with our friends at LLS and LRF to promote a quick review by the FDA of the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of AZD7442 for PrEP.

There is another strong PrEP option-an open trial of the very effective antibody combination, casirivimab/imdevimab (also known as REGEN-COV), designed specifically for those unprotected by vaccinations. We soon will be posting more on A Study to Evaluate Efficacy and Safety of Casirivimab+Imdevimab (Monoclonal Antibodies) for Prevention of COVID-19 in Immunocompromised Adolescents and Adults.

Stay strong. We are all in this together.

Brian Koffman MDCM (retired) MS Ed (he, him, his)
Co-Founder, Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer
CLL Society, Inc.