The World Health Organization is recommending a valuable antibody treatment for some coronavirus patients in the latest update to its guidelines for treating people with COVID-19.
New guidelines, published Friday in the journal BMJ, say two antibodies – casirivimab and imdevimab – should be given to people infected with COVID-19 who are most at risk of hospitalization and who People’s own immune systems have not responded.
The UN health agency said the new advice was based on evidence from experimental trials, including a British-run study that is the world’s largest to test potential COVID-19 treatments.
In the US, Regeneron treatment is recommended mostly for people with mild to moderate COVID-19, to prevent hospitalization.
Activists were concerned that the cost of the treatment – more than $2,000 in the US – meant it would be mostly unavailable to people in poor countries. Doctors Without Borders called on Regeneron to make sure the antibody drugs are accessible to patients in need, and that the company license any proprietary rights and share technical information to make them.
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