Positive trial data is driving social media mentions of leading treatment options in the global struggle against Omicron evidence, according to latest data by digital insights consultancy, CREATION.co

GlaxoSmithKline's drug, Xevudy (sotrovimab), and Pfizer's PAXLOVID (ritonavir) are the two most discussed antiviral treatment options discussed online among healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of patients with the Omicron variant, a study shows.

Analysis of over 201,000 Twitter mentions of the Omicron variant by 31,900 healthcare professionals from across the world between 23 November to 19 December 2021 shows 611 mentions of GSK's Xevudy alongside the Omicron variant followed by Pfizer's PAXLOVID with 544 mentions. MSD's antiviral drug, Lagevrio, followed with the 323 mentions.

Clinical Trial Data Driving Positive Mentions

Positive clinical trial data regarding the efficacy of Xevudy and PAXLOVID has driven positive mentions of the drugs in relation to the treatment of patients with the Omicron variant.

Preclinical data from bioRxiv in early December demonstrating sotrovimab's retained activity against all tested variants of concern, including key mutations of Omicron, drove an initial spike on 2 December 2021. A second spike in positive mentions came a little over a week later with the news that the MHRA had approved the drug for treatment in the UK after it found it could cut rates of hospitalisation and death by 79 per cent.

On 14 December, results suggesting ritonavir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89 per cent compared to placebo in non-hospitalized high-risk adults with COVID-19 drove a third spike in positive mentions.

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Most recently, efficacy data published yesterday (19 December) comparing PAXLOVID and Xevudy is currently driving additional mentions of both drugs.

Examples of clinicians disseminating positive information surrounding the efficacy of existing treatment options include Dr. Faheem Younus, Chief of Infectious Diseases at the University of Maryland, who reassured the public that existing antiviral treatments would be unaffected by mutations to the spike protein. Meanwhile, others, such as physician-scientist, author, and editor, Eric Topol, shared the results of specific studies with their respective audiences.

Conversation by Geography

The analysis also revealed where the current online Omicron conversation among healthcare professionals (HCPs) is originating. 30 per cent (44,300 posts) was from the USA, while around one-fifth was from the UK (27,900 posts), while 12,700 were from HCPs in Canada.

Commenting on the research findings, Daniel Ghinn, CEO and Founder of CREATION.co said:

"The emergence of the Omicron variant is the latest chapter in the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Social media analysis is helping public health decisionmakers to gain vital feedback from healthcare professionals and patients alike in realtime.

"The nature and scale of the crisis we face means some cutting-edge medicines must be expedited through the approval process to ensure they get to the frontlines in the war against COVID-19 quicker than they otherwise would. Social media offers us an invaluable safety measure. It enables healthcare officials and drug developers to gain insights into new treatments as they're deployed.

"Used correctly, it's also providing a tool to monitor and assess how the virus is changing and adapting across the globe. Social media analysis is proving to be an invaluable weapon in our struggle to overcome this pandemic."

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