• Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

WHO backs antibody treatment for high-risk Covid patients

  • Published at 11:20 am September 24th, 2021
World Health Organization (WHO)
File photo: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaization (WHO), in Geneva on June 25, 2020 Reuters

Antibody combination authorized for emergency use in a number of countries, including the EU, US, India, Switzerland, and Canada

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday recommended the synthetic antibody treatment Regeneron for Covid-19, but only in patients with specific health profiles.  

Persons with non-severe Covid-19 who are nonetheless at high risk of hospitalization can take the antibody combo, as should critically ill patients unable to mount an adequate immune response, according to a WHO finding published in BMJ.

Regeneron is only the third treatment for Covid to be recommended by the global health authority, which added it to its "living WHO guideline" on drugs for Covid-19.

In July, WHO gave the nod to a class of drugs that act to suppress a dangerous overreaction of the immune system to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid. 

These medicines work well in tandem with corticosteroids, which were first recommended by WHO for use in Covid patients in September 2020.

The Regeneron cocktail of synthetic antibodies - casirivimab and imdevimab, has been found to reduce the risk of hospitalization for unvaccinated, elderly or immunosuppressed patients with Covid, according to three clinical trials that have yet to be peer reviewed, according to the BMJ. 

For the second category of patient covered by the new WHO recommendation, another trial has reported a reduced number of deaths, and cases requiring mechanical ventilation, in patients taking the drugs.

The WHO concluded: "For all other Covid-19 patients, any benefits of this antibody treatment are unlikely to be meaningful."

Also Read - Antibody drugs are no cure but seem promising for Covid-19

Designed by biotech firm Regeneron and marketed by pharmaceutical giant Roche under the name Ronapreve, the treatment was given to former US President Donald Trump during his brush with coronavirus. 

When used together, the monoclonal antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, neutralizing the virus’s ability to infect cells.

The World Health Organization "welcomes the addition of another therapeutic to the world’s arsenal against Covid-19", but expressed concern about the impact of high prices on health inequality.

In a separate statement, WHO said: "Given the high cost and low availability of the combination therapy, [global health agency] UNITAID is negotiating with Roche Pharmaceutical, for lower prices and equitable distribution across all regions, especially in low- and middle-income countries."

"WHO is also in discussions with the company for a donation and distribution of the drug through UNICEF," WHO added.

The UN health authority also called on other manufacturers to submit "bio-similar" versions of the drug for approval.

In July, Japan became the first country to fully approve Regeneron's antibody treatment for patients with mild to moderate Covid-19.

The antibody combination has been authorized for emergency or temporary pandemic use in a number of countries and regions, including the European Union, United States, India, Switzerland and Canada.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail