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20 June, 2024
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Monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID expected in Cyprus any day now

Not a substitute for vaccines


The arrival of monoclonal antibody therapies in Cyprus is just a matter of time, according to the Deputy Director of Pharmaceutical Services of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Elena Panagiotopoulou.  Adding that the Procurement Department of the Ministry of Health is in direct contact with the manufacturing company.

In recent days the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave its final approval for the first two treatments with monoclonal antibodies.  Particularly recommending the licensing of Ronapreve and Regkirona for therapeutical treatment of COVID-19.

"There is intense mobility in terms of vaccines, but also in therapeutic approaches" - Panagiotopoulou

Both Ronapreve and Regkirona can be used to treat COVID-19 in adults who do not need supplemental oxygen and are at an increased risk of developing the disease.  However, only Ronapreve will be licensed for use in adolescents 12 years and up and as long as they weigh a minimum of 40kg.

Ms. Panagiotopoulou stated that there was no set delivery date for the supply of the treatments but that Cyprus would receive its share as soon as other EU countries begin receiving their supply.  "We have the contract. We have contacted the supplier.  As soon as they deliver to the other Member States, Cyprus will receive its share on the same day", said Dr. Panagiotopoulou.

She also added that the number of therapies provided to Cyprus will be based on the proportion of its population.

The Deputy Director emphasized that these treatments are only recommended for mild to moderate forms of the disease and before oxygen therapy is required.  Therefore, these therapies will not be used by the general population.  It will only be used in cases where the patient faces a higher risk of developing serious COVID.  Furthermore, inpatient treatment will be required for this therapy.

Ms. Panagiotopoulou noted that Cyprus works closely with Corepar in procurement procedures for vaccines and medicines and that and "as soon as they are licensed and supplied to Europe we will have them".

Cyprus is also working closely with Corepar to procure the Pfizer antiviral pill which, according to the manufacturer, reduces the chances of hospitalization or death of adults by 89%.  Nonetheless, these drugs are not a substitute for the vaccine, she stressed, "there is intense mobility in terms of vaccines, but also in therapeutic approaches".

Cyprus  |  therapy  |  COVID  |  monoclonal

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