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20 Aug, 2021 09:49

‘First of its kind’ antibody cocktail to prevent and treat Covid approved by UK drug watchdog

‘First of its kind’ antibody cocktail to prevent and treat Covid approved by UK drug watchdog

The UK’s drug regulatory body has approved a “first of its kind” Covid antibody cocktail that can prevent and treat coronavirus infections, with the government aiming for the treatment to be offered to Britons soon.

In a press release issued by the UK government on Friday, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced the authorisation of the antibody treatment Ronapreve, with the body calling it “the first of its kind for the treatment of Covid-19.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid praised the addition of the medicine to the UK’s “armoury to tackle Covid-19,” saying the government is working in conjunction with the national health care service “to ensure this treatment can be rolled out… as soon as possible.” 

As per the statement, the therapeutic medicine “may be used to prevent infection, promote resolution of symptoms of acute COVID-19… and can reduce the likelihood of being admitted to hospital.” While the drug purports to boost protection against the coronavirus, it is not a substitute for vaccination. 

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Ronapreve, developed in partnership by pharmaceutical companies Regeneron and Roche, is a monoclonal antibody combination treatment. The drug is administered via injection or infusion, which binds to the coronavirus and stops the infection from reaching cells in the respiratory system, acting how natural antibodies would.

Japan became the first country worldwide to approve Ronapreve for the treatment of mild to moderate incidences of Covid-19 last month after global phase-three clinical trials found that the drug reduced hospitalisation or death by 70% in high-risk patients.

According to the latest government data, the UK has vaccinated over 87% of its 66 million population, while more than 75% of Britons are fully inoculated.

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