Thousands of vulnerable health service patients in the UK hospitals due to COVID-19 are set to benefit from a life-saving new antibody treatment called Ronapreve, which was given to former US president Donald Trump.
A combination of two monoclonal antibodies, Ronapreve, will be targeted initially at those in hospital who have not mounted an antibody response against the coronavirus.
The treatment was used as part of the suite of experimental medicines given to Trump when he tested positive for COVID-19 last year.
“We have secured a brand new treatment for our most vulnerable patients in hospitals across the UK and I am thrilled it will be saving lives from as early as next week,” said UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
The drug will be targeted at people who are immunocompromised, for example those with certain cancers or autoimmune diseases, and therefore have difficulty building up an antibody response to the virus, either through being exposed to COVID-19 or from vaccination.
The health department said that a guidance will shortly be going out to clinicians so they can begin prescribing the treatment as soon as possible.
“Ronapreve is the first dedicated medicine developed for COVID-19 to receive marketing authorisation from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), representing a significant milestone in how the NHS is able to fight this disease,” said Paul McManus, COVID-19 Lead at Roche Products Ltd.
“Together with Regeneron, we”re grateful for the collaboration of the vaccine taskforce and NHS England in helping to bring this important antibody cocktail to treat and prevent acute COVID-19 across the UK,” he said.
Ronapreve is the first neutralising antibody medicine specifically designed to treat COVID-19 to be authorised by the MHRA for use in the UK.