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New Covid drug Sotrovimab that cuts risk of death by nearly 80% is approved in UK amid fight against Omicron

A NEW Covid drug that cuts the risk of death by nearly 80 per cent has been APPROVED in the UK amid the fight against Omicron.

Xevudy (Sotrovimab) was given the green light as it’s been deemed safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death in Covid patients.

Sotrovimab has been given the green light

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Sotrovimab has been given the green lightCredit: Getty

The antibody treatment is most effective during the early stages of coronavirus illness – and should be administered within five days of showing symptoms.

And clinical trials showed that the drug was able to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death by 79 per cent among high-risk adults.

The drug also works against the new Omicron variant – the mutation which many people fear may ruin the festive period.

The groundbreaking drug was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency this morning.

This is now the second monoclonal antibody therapeutic to be approved – following Ronapreve.

The regulator said this morning: “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.”

The drug works by binding to the spike protein on the outside of the Covid virus.

This in turn prevents the virus from attaching to and entering human cells – so that it cannot replicate in the body.

And as a result, people who take the drug are likely to have a less severe reaction to the virus, resulting in lower hospitalisation and death rates.

Sotrovimab is most effective when taken during the early stages of infection – so the regulator has recommended using it as soon as possible and within five days of showing Covid symptoms.

The drug has been authorised for use in people who have mild to moderate Covid infection, and at least one risk factor for developing severe illness. 

This includes obesity, being over 60, diabetes mellitus, or heart disease.

COVID HOPE

Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive said: “I am pleased to say that we now have another safe and effective COVID-19 treatment, Xevudy (sotrovimab), for those at risk of developing severe illness.

“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.”

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines, said: “The Commission on Human Medicines and its COVID-19 Therapeutics Expert Working Group has independently reviewed the data and agrees with the MHRA’s regulatory approval of sotrovimab.

“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.

“Based on the data reviewed by the Commission and its expert group, it is clear sotrovimab is another safe and effective treatment to help us in our fight against COVID-19.”

More to follow…

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