New Chinese COVID-19 drug approved
A monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 has been "emergency approved" by the Chinese government to tackle the Omicron variant.
The Chinese government has "emergency approved" the country's first specialized treatment against the Coronavirus. It was deduced, upon conducting clinical trials, that hospitalizations and deaths decreased among high-risk patients upon administering the drug.
With worries over the Omicron variant on the rise, the government has taken matters into its hands to deal with the pandemic more effectively, granting approval for a monoclonal antibody treatment as published Wednesday.
A monoclonal antibody is a kind of protein that attaches itself to the spike protein of the Coronavirus, which reduces the virus' ability to infiltrate body cells and attack. The approval directs itself mainly toward high-risk groups, such as the elderly or the immunocompromised.
The treatment, which was developed by Tsinghua University, the Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen and Brii Biosciences, involves a combination of two drugs, administered through injections, and can be used to treat certain cases that are at risk of progressing in severity, according to the drug authority.
Trial data showed that the combination therapy could reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk patients by around 80%, Tsinghua University said in a statement on social media late Wednesday.
While pills are easier to administer, the treatment with the highest efficacy involves monoclonal antibodies administered by a drip.
China is the latest to approve similar Covid-19 treatments, with British regulators last week also authorizing an antibody treatment.
EU health authorities have approved pills for emergency use too -- involving antiviral medications that slow down illness by reducing the virus' capacity to reproduce within the body.