Abu Dhabi receives first global shipment of AstraZeneca Covid-19 antibody drug

Evusheld is a pre-exposure drug designed to protect people who have low immunity to coronavirus

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Abu Dhabi received the first global shipment of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 antibody drug on Monday.

Evusheld is a 'pre-exposure' treatment that can be given to adults and children aged 12 and above who are not infected with the coronavirus.

UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention has approved the use of the drug on an emergency basis. The US Food and Drug Administration also recently granted the emergency use authorisation.

The drug will help people who have low immunity due to a medical condition or immunity conditions, AstraZeneca said.

It is also aimed at people for whom vaccination is not recommended. Those who receive the drug should not be currently infected with or have had recent known exposure to a person infected with Sars-CoV-2.

The company says it can offer protection for six months and is given as an intramuscular dose, administered in two separate, consecutive injections.

This medication will be used in addition to the existing Covid-19 medications that are already available in the capital and the rest of the UAE, Abu Dhabi Media Office said.

The medicines will be stored at the cold-chain storage facility at Rafed’s Distribution Centre, and will then be distributed to various centres.

Clinical trials in the US found Evusheld, a two-drug antibody cocktail, was 83 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and worked against all tested variants of concern.

The drug produced the same neutralising antibody levels found in someone who has been previously infected with the virus, the company said on Thursday.

It also “retained neutralising activity” against the Omicron variant in lab tests.

“By combining two potent antibodies with different and complementary activities against the virus, Evusheld was designed to evade potential resistance with the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants,” Mene Pangalos, head of AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceuticals research, said in a statement.

The company said it was carrying out more lab tests and more data was expected soon.

Updated: December 20, 2021, 3:08 PM