WHO adds new recommendation for COVID-19 monoclonal antibody combo

The World Health Organization (WHO) today recommended another treatment for COVID-19, a monoclonal antibody combination from Regeneron already in use in the United States, though it urged companies and governments to make sure it’s accessible to lower- and middle-income countries.

Supply, drug administration challenges

The WHO’s conditional recommendation for the monoclonal antibody cocktail, which consists of casirimivab and imdevimab, applies to patients with nonsevere COVID-19 who are at high risk for hospitalization and for people who have severe and critical infections who have no antibodies to SARS-COV-2.

In November, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the drug combination for adults and kids ages 12 and older who have mild- to moderate COVID-19. The combination is administered through intravenous (IV) infusion or injection. It made headlines when it was used to treat former President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 infection.

Demand for the treatment has been skyrocketing in US hot spots such as Florida, where officials have opened state-run centers to deliver the treatment. As a result, the Biden administration recently took steps to address shortages by taking over distribution and buying 1.4 million more doses. In the United States, the drug costs about $1,250 per dose and is covered by the federal government.

 

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