The UK’s drug regulator has approved a combination of two monoclonal antibodies to prevent Covid-19 in people who are unlikely to mount an immune response from vaccination or for whom vaccination is not recommended.
Evusheld, a combination of the two long acting antibodies tixagevimab and cilgavimab, is authorised for Covid-19 prevention by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The government’s independent advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines, endorsed the approval after independently reviewing the evidence.
Almost 500 000 people in the UK are immunocompromised, including people with blood cancers, those taking immunosuppressive drugs after an organ transplant, or those with conditions such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment could offer this group of patients, many of whom are still shielding, protection against Covid-19 and help them feel more confident about returning to a normal life.
June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said, “While Covid-19 vaccines continue to be the first line of defence, we know that some people may not respond adequately to these vaccines and for a small number they may not be recommended. For these people, Evusheld could provide effective protection against Covid-19.”
Penny Ward, an independent pharmaceutical physician and visiting professor in pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London, said, “This treatment could be a good way to protect patients who are not able to respond normally to vaccination. Many of these people are continuing to shield while Covid is still circulating in the community and this agent could help them feel more confident to return to a more normal life.”
Read full story
Source: BMJ, 17 March 2022