TGA gives provisional approval for COVID-19 treatment

Australia's Therapeutic Drugs Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved a treatment for COVID-19.

Sotrovimab, currently approved for interim and emergency use in the US, Canada, Singapore and Europe, is a monoclonal antibody treatment that can protect people at risk of developing severe COVID-19 and can be used to manage future outbreaks, according to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

Monoclonal antibodies are based on the natural antibodies made by the human body.

They bind to the virus, stop it entering host cells and help fight off infected cells.

READ MORE: Sydney lockdown extended, 644 new local cases of COVID-19

The treatment is currently under review by the TGA, which has granted provisional approval for adults and children aged 12 and over.

Australia is the first OECD country to issue a formal regulatory approval for the treatment. The government has bought 7700 doses.

The RACGP said sotrovimab has been shown to reduce hospitalisation or death by 79 per cent in adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of progression to severe disease.

Dr Krystal Evans, from drug manufacturer GSK Australia, said the treatment could play a role in the longer-term management of the pandemic in Australia.

"If we can treat people at the time of diagnosis, then we may be able to prevent the disease from getting more serious and help keep people out of hospital," she said.

The only other COVID-19 treatment approved for use in Australia is remdesivir, which is used in adults and adolescent patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms who have been hospitalised.

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