Australia secures additional Covid treatments

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Covid-19 treatments to support the National Plan to Transition Australia’s Covid-19 response, following expert medical advice.

While vaccination remains the best protection against Covid-19, reportedly, under a new agreement with Roche Products Pty Ltd, Australia will be supplied with 15,000 doses of the Covid-19 antibody-based therapy, Ronapreve, which is designed to block the infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.

The first supply of this treatment is expected to be available by the end of October through an initial shipment of 5000 doses and will be held in the National Medical Stockpile.

Use of this treatment will occur in line with the regulatory approval by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and advice from the National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce.

Reportedly, Ronapreve can be administered intravenously in a healthcare facility. Treatment with Ronapreve is said to have been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death by up to 70% in patients with confirmed Covid-19. It is expected to be targeted for use in unvaccinated people who are at risk of developing severe disease.

Additionally, the Australian Government has reportedly also secured access to 500,000 treatment courses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 oral antiviral drug, to be used in combination with the protease inhibitor drug Ritonavir, subject to regulatory approval by the TGA.

Ritonavir is still undergoing clinical trials but is expected to help reduce the severity or onset of illness in adults who contract, or have been exposed to, Covid-19. It is expected to be available over the course of 2022, subject to TGA approval.

As with all Covid-19 treatments, both medications will be rigorously assessed by the TGA for safety, quality, and effectiveness before they can be registered for use in Australia.

Following regulatory approval by the TGA, Ronapreve will join other Covid-19 treatments including Sotrovimab and Remdesivir that are already available to health professionals, through the National Medical Stockpile to help treat people with Covid-19.

Australia has also secured an advanced purchase agreement for 300,000 courses of the promising oral Covid-19 treatment Molnupiravir for supply in 2022 subject to TGA approval.

Reportedly, these purchase agreements have been supported by the Science and Industry Technical Advisory Group, which is the Australian Government’s expert group advising on Covid-19 vaccine and treatment purchases.

Further review of the clinical guidelines for use of these treatments in Australia will be undertaken by the National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce.