DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The FDA put a halt to the use of two COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments because experts said they don’t work against the omicron variant. Doctors in the Miami Valley have stopped using the treatments several weeks ago.

The FDA revoked emergency authorization of COVID-19 monoclonal antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly. Monoclonal antibody drugs have been used throughout the pandemic to treat COVID-19 before it becomes severe.

“One of the most powerful tools that we’ve had available to rapidly be able to make changes and prevent people from ending up in the hospital was no longer effective,” Dr. Roberto Colon, chief medical officer for Miami Valley Hospital, said.

Now with the majority of COVID-19 cases being the omicron variant, the FDA said the treatments are less able to target omicron because of its mutations.

“It’s really altered our ability to treat patients,” Colon said.

There is a newer monoclonal antibody treatment, Sotrovimab, which is showing to work better against variants.

“It was a monoclonal antibody that was developed to specifically try to impact the virus at an area other than the spike protein,” Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein, patient safety officer for Kettering Health, said. “So even if the virus mutated, that monoclonal antibody should continue to to be effective and, in fact, it is effective, the problem is that it’s in very short supply.”

As cases and hospitalizations still surge, other drugs used to treat or prevent COVID-19 are also hard to come by.

Weinstein said Kettering Health had to get creative, developing an algorithm for determining how to best distribute the treatments.

“To help determine what drug would be appropriate for which patients depending on availability of the product, as well as factors such as if the patient is pregnant, does the patient have kidney problems, other things like that,” Weinstein said.

The FDA said if the monoclonal antibody drugs do prove effective against future variants, the agency could reauthorize their use.