By Joy Chakravarty
Dubai, Jul 19 (IANS): Within two months of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing an emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy Sotrovimab for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Covid-19, the UAE has become one of the first countries to approve its use following two weeks of in-country trials.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has approved Sotrovimab, which is produced by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), after conducting local evaluation.
It can be used in adults and paediatric patients, over 12 years of age and weighing at least 40 kg.
In Abu Dhabi, Sotrovimab was administered to 6,175 patients with Covid-19 between June 30 and July 13.
More than 50 per cent of these patients were aged 50 or above and almost all had multiple comorbidities including obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
On Sunday, MoHAP, in collaboration with the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA), announced the results.
Ninety-seven per cent of recipients fully recovered within 14 days. The medication also resulted in 100 per cent prevention of death among recipients and 99 per cent prevention of admission to ICU.
Emirates news agency, WAM, added that the drug will contribute to reducing the number of cases requiring admission to hospital and reducing the number of deaths due to infection with the virus by up to 85 per cent when given to patients as an early treatment.
The UAE, with its robust vaccination programme, already has the distinction of becoming the highest vaccination nation in the world. It was one of the first countries in the world to receive a shipment of Sotrovimab in mid-June.
According to the FDA, monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system's ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses. Sotrovimab is specifically directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and is designed to block the virus' attachment and entry into human cells.
On May 26, at the time of giving the EUA to Sotrovimab, Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, had said: "With the authorisation of this monoclonal antibody treatment, we are providing another option to help keep high-risk patients with Covid-19 out of the hospital.
"It is important to expand the arsenal of monoclonal antibody therapies that are expected to retain activity against the circulating variants of Covid-19 in the US."