The Briefing provides an at-a-glance view of some important developments in the information universe surrounding COVID-19. The views presented here are solely those of ECRI Horizon Scanning and have not been vetted by other stakeholders.

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Although the latest Omicron-specific boosters are now authorized for children aged 5 or older (Pfizer-BioNTech) and aged 6 or older (Moderna), the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey reports that many American adults have not heard much, if anything, about these new boosters. Moreover, a survey by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases found that only 36 percent of US adults would get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time, and 41 percent would not get them both at the same time, 23 percent were unsure. However, the CDC advises providers to offer both vaccines to eligible people on the same visit to reduce the chances for disease or death and to improve the likelihood that patients will be current with their vaccinations this season.

Despite the need, new messaging initiatives or vaccine incentives have not yet emerged, marking a sharp contrast to the initial vaccine rollouts of 2021. Some models suggest that, depending on the number of people who take the booster, between 75,000 and 90,000 lives could be saved.

Low booster uptake might contribute to a winter surge in COVID-19 cases, and more cases might lead to more people facing post-COVID conditions (see Topics to Watch for emerging treatments for both).

Apabetalone to Treat Post-COVID Conditions

At a Glance

  • Apabetalone is an oral small-molecule drug being investigated as a treatment for post-COVID conditions (PCC).
  • Apabetalone blocks bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) proteins, involved in the transcriptional regulation of inflammation, which might help normalize high levels of dysregulated proteins thought to contribute to inflammation and chronic symptoms after acute COVID-19.
  • Apabetalone was previously investigated in a phase 2/3 trial to treat severe COVID-19 as well as in a phase 3 trial to treat high-risk coronary artery disease.
  • In September 2022, developer Resverlogix announced that a phase 3 study protocol for apabetalone to treat PCC is being finalized and the trial is anticipated to begin in the first half of 2023.

EB05 to Treat Patients with COVID-19 in Critically Ill Condition

At a Glance

  • Investigators are studying EB05 as a single-dose treatment for adults who are hospitalized with COVID-19. EB05 is a monoclonal antibody that targets toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), an innate immune receptor on the cell surface that recognizes pathogen-related molecular patterns and triggers an inflammatory response.
  • Inhibition of TRL4 signaling might dampen the proinflammatory cascade associated with more severe COVID-19 and worse outcomes, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), organ failure and death.
  • A phase 2 study investigated EB05 given in addition to standard-of-care (SOC) treatment in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 whose severity ranged from mild to critically ill. In patients with COVID-19 who were critically ill, the results indicated that EB05 resulted in an 84% reduction in mortality at day 28 compared with those who received placebo (7.7% vs 40%).
  • The developer is seeking approval from the FDA to proceed with a phase 3 trial of EB05 in adults with COVID-19 who are hospitalized and critically ill. Phase 3 trials in other countries are ongoing.

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Commentary in this COVID-19 Scan reflects preliminary views of ECRI Horizon Scanning and internal ECRI stakeholders.
The information contained in this document has not been vetted by other stakeholders.

We welcome your comments on this Scan. Send them by email to [email protected].

Posted: October 20, 2022

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