A new antibody drug, Ronapreve, will become available for coronavirus parents across Britain next week, the UK government has said. The drug was used to treat then-US President Donald Trump, who hailed it as a “cure” for Covid-19.
The drug, jointly developed by Roche and Regeneron, will be initially used among those with a weak antibody response to the virus, British health authorities said Friday.
“We have secured a brand new treatment for our most vulnerable patients in hospitals across the UK and I am thrilled it will be saving lives from as early as next week,” Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in a statement announcing the Ronapreve launch.
It will be used to treat patients without antibodies to SARS CoV-2 who are either aged 50 and over, or are aged 12 to 49 and are considered to be immunocompromised.
Eligibility for the treatment will be determined via antibody testing, with those showing a lack of “adequate existing antibody response” approved to receive the drug, Javid added. Ronapreve was greenlit for use in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) back in August.
Hailing the upcoming rollout, one of the companies behind the drug expressed hope for the continuation of its partnership with British health authorities.
“This is just another step in our journey to overcome Covid-19, and we will continue to collaborate with partners to identify and investigate multiple options that may help different groups of patients,” Covid-19 Lead at Roche, Paul McManus, said in a statement.
Together with Regeneron, we’re grateful for the collaboration of the vaccine taskforce and NHS England in helping to bring this important antibody cocktail to treat and prevent acute Covid-19 across the UK.
The drug is a monoclonal antibody combination treatment. Ronapreve is administered through injections or infusions, binding with the coronavirus and stopping the disease from reaching cells in the respiratory system – effectively, it is said to act similarly to a natural immune response.
The drug garnered worldwide attention when former US President Donald Trump caught Covid-19 during his time in office and was offered the experimental treatment. According to Trump, the drug demonstrated high efficacy, with the then-president hailing it as an ultimate “cure” for coronavirus.
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