mBio. 2022 Oct 18:e0169922. doi: 10.1128/mbio.01699-22. Online ahead of print.
We conducted a post hoc analysis in seropositive patients who were negative or borderline for functional neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) at baseline from a phase 1, 2, and 3 trial of casirivimab and imdevimab (CAS+IMD) treatment in hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients on low-flow or no supplemental oxygen prior to the emergence of Omicron-lineage variants. Patients were randomized to a single dose of 2.4 g CAS+IMD, 8.0 g CAS+IMD, or placebo. Patients seropositive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies at baseline were analyzed by their baseline neutralizing antibody status. At baseline, 20.6% (178/864) of seropositive patients were negative or borderline for neutralizing antibodies, indicating negative or very low functionally neutralizing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. CAS+IMD reduced viral load in patients who were negative or borderline for neutralizing antibodies versus placebo, but not in patients who were positive for neutralizing antibodies. In patients who were negative or borderline for neutralizing antibodies, we observed a trend in reduction of the proportion of patients who died or required mechanical ventilation, as well as in all-cause mortality, by day 29 with CAS+IMD versus placebo. The proportions of patients who died or required mechanical ventilation from days 1 to 29 were 19.1% in the placebo group and 10.9% in the CAS+IMD combined-dose group, and the proportions of patients who died (all-cause mortality) from days 1 to 29 were 16.2% in the placebo group and 9.1% in the CAS+IMD combined-dose group. In patients who were positive for neutralizing antibodies, no measurable harm or benefit was observed in either the proportion of patients who died or required mechanical ventilation or the proportion of patients who died (all-cause mortality). In hospitalized COVID-19 patients on low-flow or no supplemental oxygen, CAS+IMD reduced viral load, the risk of death or mechanical ventilation, and all-cause mortality in seropositive patients who were negative or borderline for neutralizing antibodies. IMPORTANCE The clinical benefit of CAS+IMD in hospitalized seronegative patients with COVID-19 has previously been demonstrated, although these studies observed no clinical benefit in seropositive patients. As the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2-seropositive individuals rises due to both vaccination and previous infection, it is important to understand whether there is a subset of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 who could benefit from anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody treatment. This post hoc analysis demonstrates that there is a subset of hospitalized seropositive patients with inadequate SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies (i.e., those who were negative or borderline for neutralizing antibodies) who may still benefit from CAS+IMD treatment if infected with a susceptible SARS-CoV-2 variant. Therefore, utilizing serostatus alone to guide treatment decisions for patients with COVID-19 may fail to identify those seropositive patients who could benefit from anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody therapies known to be effective against circulating strains, dependent upon how effectively their endogenous antibodies neutralize SARS-CoV-2.