European Drug Regulator Recommends 2 New COVID Treatments

The European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, on Thursday recommended two new treatments against COVID-19 for use among EU member nations, as well as offer advice on the use of another, pending its authorization.

In separate statements on its website, the EMA recommended the use of Swedish-made drug Kineret and U.S.-made Xevudy for treatment of COVID-19.

The EMA had previously approved Kineret for use as an anti-inflammatory medicine. But in their recommendation Thursday, the agency recommended its use as a treatment for adult COVID-19 patients also suffering from pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen and at risk of developing severe respiratory failure.

They said Kineret could reduce the inflammation associated with COVID-19, decreasing lower airway damage, and preventing development of severe respiratory failure. The drug is manufactured by the Swedish Orphan Biovitrum pharmaceutical company.

The EMA also recommended GlaxoSmithKline’s recommended Xevudy for treating adults and children suffering from COVID-19 who do not require supplemental oxygen and are at increased risk of the disease becoming severe. The EMA cited data indicating Xevudy, a monoclonal antibody drug, was effective in preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms and preventing hospitalization.

The agency also offered advice for the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment pill Paxlovid. While the medicine is not yet authorized in the EU, the EMA said it can be used to treat adults who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of progressing to severe disease.

They say Paxlovid should be administered as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of the start of symptoms.

The agency’s advice can now be used to support those EU nations choosing to recommend use of Paxlovid before formal EMU authorization.

The EMA said it will continue with its rolling review of the drug.

Some information for this report was provided by Agence France-Presse.

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