The World Health Organization recommends the use of Regeneron antibody therapy in two specific groups of patients with Covid-19.
An international panel of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended combination therapy of two monoclonal antibodies (casirivimab and imdevimab) for two specific groups of Covid-19 patients: those with a non-serious disease but at the highest risk of eventually receiving hospitalization. as well as those who have severe disease and are unable to develop their own natural coronavirus antibodies.
The two antibodies, when used together, bind to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus protein and neutralize its ability to infect human cells.
The first recommendation is based on new data from three clinical trials not yet published in scientific journals which show that the "cocktail" of antibodies can reduce the risk of hospitalization as well as the duration of symptoms in high-risk patients for severe disease, such as the unvaccinated, the elderly and the immunocompromised.
The second recommendation is based on data from the large UK clinical trial RECOVERY which shows that these two antibodies are likely to reduce the need for intubation and death in severely ill Covid-19 patients who have a weak natural immune response to the virus.
For all other patients, the benefits of antibody therapy are expected to be negligible, according to WHO experts who published the study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). In addition, they recognized the significant cost of this treatment and the difficulty of several countries in accessing it. That is why the WHO called on the American company Regeneron, which produces the antibodies, to reduce their prices.
It is also indicated by the WHO that treatment should be administered intravenously using special equipment, while patients should be monitored for possible allergic reactions. It also highlights the possibility of new coronavirus variants appearing against which the two antibodies will be less effective.
The treatment was originally approved in the US as a matter of urgency and was given to former President Donald Trump, was approved in Britain last month, and is under evaluation in the European Union. It is marketed in the United States under the name Ronapreve or REGEN-COV and has already brought significant sales of $ 2,59 billion to Regeneron in the second quarter of this year, according to Reuters.
The company is going to supply the US government with 1,4 million additional installments by January 31, 2022, at a cost of $ 2.100 per installment. Médecins Sans Frontières also called for cheaper and equal access to treatment during the pandemic.