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Editor’s note: Here’s an excerpt from an article in The BMJ. To read the piece in its entirety, click here.

Eligible patients with COVID-19 in UK hospitals who have not mounted an antibody response against SARS-CoV-2 will be offered the monoclonal antibody treatment ronapreve from this week, the government has announced.

The drug is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (casirivimab and imdevimab), which work by binding to two different sites on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and neutralizing the virus’s ability to infect cells. It was the first neutralizing antibody drug specifically designed to treat COVID-19 approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (in August 2021).

Ronapreve will be administered to patients without antibodies — who must be either aged 50 or over, or aged 12 to 49 and considered to be immunocompromised — through a drip. The government said it had secured enough supply for National Health Service patients across the four nations and that antibody testing will be used to determine which patients are eligible.

England’s health secretary, Sajid Javid, said:

“We have secured a brand new treatment for our most vulnerable patients in hospitals across the UK . . . The UK is leading the world in identifying and rolling out lifesaving medicines, particularly for COVID-19, and we will continue our vital work to find the best treatments available to save lives and protect the NHS.”

Read the entire The BMJ article here.