Oman Daily Observer
WHO backs antibody combo for high-risk Covid patients
PARIS: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday recommended the synthetic antibody treatment Regeneron for Covid-19, but only in patients with specific health profiles.
Persons with non-severe Covid-19 who are nonetheless at high risk of hospitalisation can take the antibody combo, as should critically ill patients unable to mount an adequate immune response, according to a WHO finding published in BMJ.
Regeneron is only the third treatment for Covid to be recommended by the global health authority, which added it to its “living WHO guideline” on drugs for Covid-19.
In July, WHO gave the nod to a class of drugs that act to suppress a dangerous overreaction of the immune system to the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes Covid.
These medicines work well in tandem with corticosteroids, which were first recommended by WHO for use in Covid patients in September 2020.
The Regeneron cocktail of synthetic antibodies — casirivimab and imdevimab — has been found to reduce the risk of hospitalisation for unvaccinated, elderly or immunosuppressed patients with Covid, according to three clinical trials that have yet to be peer reviewed, according to the BMJ.
For the second category of patient covered by the new WHO recommendation, another trial has reported a reduced number of deaths, and cases requiring mechanical ventilation, in patients taking the drugs.
“For all other Covid-19 patients, any benefits of this antibody treatment are unlikely to be meaningful,” the WHO concluded.