UK approves new COVID-19 antibody treatment; effective against Omicron!!
The UK's medicines regulator on Dec 2nd approved a new antibody treatment against COVID-19, which it believes will also be effective against new variants such as Omicron. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said Xevudy or sotrovimab is for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing severe disease.
Sotrovimab was developed by GSK and Vir Biotechnology. It is a single monoclonal antibody and the drug works by binding to the spike protein on the outside of the COVID-19 virus. This in turn prevents the virus from attaching to and entering human cells, so that it cannot replicate in the body.
Sotrovimab is administered by intravenous infusion over 30 minutes and is approved for individuals aged 12 and above who weigh more than 40 kg. The MHRA said “it is too early to know” whether the Omicron variant has any impact on sotrovimab’s effectiveness, but they plan to work with the manufacturers to establish this.
In a clinical trial, a single dose of the monoclonal antibody was found to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death by 79 per cent in high-risk adults with symptomatic COVID-19 infection. Based on the clinical trial data, sotrovimab is most effective when taken during the early stages of infection and so the MHRA recommends its use as soon as possible and within five days of symptom onset.