New COVID drug which cuts risk of death and hospitalisation by 79% approved for use in UK


A new drug which can reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID by 79% has been approved for use in the UK for people aged 12 and up.

Xevudy – also known as sotrovimab – has been given the greenlight by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after being found to cut the risk of serious illness in high-risk adults who had COVID symptoms.

The drug was developed by London-based GlaxoSmithKline in conjunction with Vir Biotechnology in California – and the makers say preclinical data shows the drug “retains activity against key mutations of the new Omicron variant”.

Live COVID updates from UK and around the world

But the MHRA has said it is too early to confirm this.

George Scangos, Vir chief executive, said: “Sotrovimab was deliberately designed with a mutating virus in mind.

“By targeting a highly conserved region of the spike protein that is less likely to mutate, we hoped to address both the current Sars-CoV-2 virus and future variants that we expected would be inevitable.”

More on Covid-19

In a statement, the MHRA said: “Like molnupiravir, [Xevudy] has been authorised for use in people who have mild to moderate COVID-19 infection and at least one risk factor for developing severe illness.

“Such risk factors include obesity, older age (over 60 years), diabetes mellitus, or heart disease.

MUST CREDIT GSK/Vir Biotechnology Another COVID-19 treatment, Xevudy (sotrovimab), has today been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after it was found to be safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death in people with mild to moderate COVID-19 infection who are at an increased risk of developing severe disease.
The new drug is administered by intravenous infusion over 30 minutes. Pic: GSK/Vir Biotechnology

“Unlike molnupiravir, sotrovimab is administered by intravenous infusion over 30 minutes.

“It is approved for individuals aged 12 and above who weigh more than 40kg.

“It is too early to know whether the Omicron variant has any impact on sotrovimab’s effectiveness but the MHRA will work with the company to establish this.”

Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: “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.

Follow the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

“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.”

The UK has ordered around 100,000 doses of sotrovimab.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Government homes in on £5bn cladding settlement with housebuilders
Man dies after being shot by dog
Stormzy announced as latest performer for Brit Awards 2023
California gunman found dead in van after killing 10 in Chinese New Year mass shooting
Sunak’s integrity is taking a hit as he prolongs the pain over Zahawi – who will have to go

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *