On Thursday, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved another monoclonal antibody treatmentthat reduces the risk of hospitalisation and death by a whopping 79%. The drug is called Xevudy and was developed by British pharmaceutical power house, GlaxoSmithKline, and Vir Biotechnology.
The drug, which is more commonly referred to as sotrovimab, is said to be a ‘safe and effective’ treatment that is advantageous when given to COVID patients during the early stages of infection, more specifically within 5 days of when symptoms first begin to appear. Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines confirmed in a statement:
When administered in the early stages of infection, sotrovimab was found to be effective at reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death in high-risk individuals with symptomatic COVID-19.
Better protection for the vulnerable
The drug, which is administered intravenously over 30 minutes, has been approved for all over the age of 12. However, the agency strongly recommends reserving its use for patients who have mild or moderate infection, but also have an increased risk of developing severe COVID.These patients include the clinically vulnerable, elderly adults above the age of 60, and people who have underlying health conditions like obesity and heart disease.
Health authorities believe that with the approval of this treatment, at-risk individuals will be better protected in the case that they are infected with the virus. MHRA Chief Executive, Dr. June Raine said:
This is yet another therapeutic that has been shown to be effective at protecting those most vulnerable to COVID-19, and signals another significant step forward in our fight against this devastating disease.
With no compromises on quality, safety and effectiveness, the public can trust that the MHRA have conducted a robust and thorough assessment of all the available data.