Health Minister Robin Swann has welcomed the announcement that new treatment, Ronapreve® will be available for hospitalised patients with COVID-19 from this week.
Ronapreve is a new innovative treatment that combines two Neutralising monoclonal antibodies (nMABs) Casirivimab and Imdevimab. It is the first neutralising antibody medicine specifically designed to treat COVID-19 to be authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the UK.
Welcoming the new treatment Health Minister Robin Swann said: “This new treatment is incredibly welcome and will benefit some of the most vulnerable patients in our hospitals. Alongside the success of our vaccine roll out, the development of new therapeutics is an important step in saving lives, protecting our health service, and fighting back against COVID-19.”
Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Michael McBride said: “The availability of Ronapreve will help us significantly as we continue to move through this pandemic. It will initially be targeted at those in hospital aged 50 and over, or are aged 12 to 49 and are considered to be immunocompromised, and have not mounted an antibody response against COVID-19. This will include individuals who are immunocompromised, such as patients with certain cancer or autoimmune diseases.”
Antibody testing will first be used to determine whether patients are seronegative, meaning those who do not have an adequate existing antibody response. The drug will be available to patients who meet certain clinical criteria as determined by a national expert group to support their recovery in hospital.
Trusts in Northern Ireland will be able to access Ronapreve® for eligible patients this week, and guidance has been issued to clinicians to support them to prescribe the treatment as soon as possible.
Notes to editors:
1. Ronapreve is the first neutralising antibody medicine specifically designed to treat COVID-19 to be authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the UK.
2. It will be used to treat patients without antibodies to SARS CoV-2 who are either aged 50 and over, or are aged 12 to 49 and are considered to be immunocompromised.
3. Antibody testing will first be used to determine whether patients are seronegative, meaning those who do not have an adequate existing antibody response and will therefore meet the 1st part of the treatment criteria.
4. The drug will be used in adults and adolescents hospitalised with severe COVID-19 infection who meet additional clinical criteria.
5. The treatment antibodies – casirivimab and imdevimab – will be administered to patients through a drip and work by binding to the virus’s spike protein, stopping it from being able to infect the body’s cells.
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