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Chinese Pharma Competitor to American Antibody Providers Behind Study Saying Current Antibody Treatments Aren't Effective
Popular American antibody treatments were pulled from the market this week.
The Daily Conservative learned Thursday that Chinese scientists, who own their own pharmaceutical company, co-authored a study saying their American competitor’s products did not work.
The December 9 study, which is not peer reviewed, is co-authored by Chinese scientists Xiaoliang Sunney Xie and Yunlong Cao, among others. It is pre-published in bioRxiv, and comes with the following disclaimer from that publication:
“bioRxiv posts many COVID19-related papers. A reminder: they have not been formally peer-reviewed and should not guide health-related behavior or be reported in the press as conclusive.”
In a controversial move, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pulled popular monoclonal antibody treatments earlier this week.
News media outlets, ignoring the disclaimer from bioRxiv, have reported the conclusion from this study — and another with a similar disclaimer — as fact. (More on that later).
A National Institute of Health (NIH) graph, which does not source its data publicly, claims that Eli Lilly’s Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab, a cocktail of antibodies that forms one of the two most popular monoclonal antibody treatments, is less effective against Omicron than it is against other variants. It also claims REGEN-COV (Regeneron), the other popular anti-body treatment, is less effective against Omicron than it is against other variants.
(Note that “less effective” does not mean “ineffective.”)
More interesting, though, some antibody treatments have not been banned.
One of those treatments is called DPX-604, produced by a company called Singlomatics Biopharmaceuticals Inc.
Singlomatics was founded and is owned by Xiaoliang and Yunlong, the same scientists who co-authored the Chinese study discussed above.
In 2020, a Chinese company called BieGene announced that it had purchased the exclusive rights to sell Singlonmatics’ antibody treatments.
“BeiGene, Ltd. (NASDAQ: BGNE; HKEX: 06160) and Singlomics (Beijing DanXu) Biopharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., today announced that the companies have executed an exclusive license agreement for BeiGene to develop, manufacture and commercialize globally outside of greater China Singlomics’ investigational anti-COVID-19 antibodies, including DXP-593 and DXP-604,” the company said in a press release at the time. “Utilizing high-throughput single-cell sequencing of convalescent blood samples from recovered patients with COVID-19, Singlomics has identified multiple antibodies that have been shown to be highly potent in pre-clinical studies in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci’s ties to the China, where COVID-19 first appeared, have been well-documented throughout the pandemic. Fauci heads the NIH, and notoriously lied to Congress, saying the NIH did not partner with the Chinese to do gain of function research.
The FDA took a full three days to reply to a simple question: what is the data to which it referred in justification of pulling the authorization of monoclonal antibodies.
Even then, it did not give specifics. It referred The Daily Conservative to an NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel, which it says is comprised of “an independent panel of national experts.”
Those treatment guidelines reference a December 23 preprint study in Nature.com co-authored by a Canadian scientist called Delphine Planas and a Belgian scientist called Pies Maet, among others.
It comes to similar conclusions as the December 9 Chinese study, and comes with this disclaimer:
“We are providing an unedited version of this manuscript to give early access to its findings. Before final publication, the manuscript will undergo further editing. Please note there may be errors present which affect the content, and all legal disclaimers apply.”
Neither the FDA nor the NIH would confirm whether the Chinese study was a factor in its decision to pull authorization for the antibody treatments.