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WHO backs Regeneron COVID-19 drug cocktail

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WHO backs Regeneron COVID-19 drug cocktail

By Franca Ofili

Dr Janet Diaz, head of clinical care at the World Health Organization (WHO), said the Regeneron antibody drug cocktail “casirivimab and imdevimab” has been added to the WHO list of treatments for patients. COVID-19.

Diaz said it was a major breakthrough in COVID-19 patient care.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the latest addition to the WHO treatment list for COVID-19 was reported on the UN website on Friday.

Diaz said it was important to stress the need for lower prices and equitable distribution of drugs.

“This is our first recommendation for treatment for patients with mild to moderate illness, as it reduces’ the need for hospitalization if they are at high risk,” Diaz said.

She said the WHO conditional recommendations relate to the use of the drug combination on patients who are not critically ill but at high risk of being admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

“Those with severe cases of the disease and no existing antibodies included.

“Giving them that extra antibody seems to show an effect. And what effect is it? A reduction in mortality, ” Diaz said.

She said antibody therapy was granted emergency use clearance in the United States in November 2020 after it was used to treat former President Donald Trump when he was admitted to hospital with the virus. .

According to her, the UK has also approved Regeneron, while it is under review in Europe.

Diaz said the WHO recommendations were largely based on data from a UK study of 9,000 patients in June which found that the therapy reduced the number of deaths in hospitalized patients with their own immune systems. had failed to produce a response.

“We take the information from the UK study and generalize it to other people.

“We saw that there was a benefit that we thought was significant,” Diaz said.

She said the treatment has been used for decades to treat many other diseases, including cancers.

According to her, it is based on a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies that mimic the natural antibodies produced by the human body to fight infections.

She said Swiss drug maker Roche was working in partnership with Regeneron, who owns the patent, to produce the antibody treatment.

Diaz urged Regeneron to lower the price of the drug and work on equitable distribution around the world.

“We know that the vital benefits and the benefits for patients with COVID-19 are significant and require action,” she said.

She added that the WHO hosted the health agency UNITAID, had negotiated directly with Roche for lower prices and equitable distribution to all regions of the world, including low- and middle-income countries.

“WHO is also in talks with the company for a donation and distribution of the drug through the United Nations Children’s Fund and UNICEF, in accordance with the allocation criteria set by the agency. health.

“We are working with the company so that we can resolve these very important issues so that we can have equitable access,” she said.

Diaz explained that the WHO has said in parallel that it has appealed to manufacturers who may wish to submit their products for prequalification.

She said this would allow for faster production and therefore greater availability of treatment and expanded access.

“COVID-19 Tool Accelerator Access (ACT-A) partners are also working with WHO on an equitable access framework for recommended COVID-19 therapies.

“There are bottlenecks and we are aware of them,” Diaz said.

She said the WHO has launched the call for expressions of interest by qualification so that manufacturing companies can start submitting their dossiers to the WHO (www.)

Source: NAN

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