It is a matter of time for Cyprus to receive monoclonal antibody medicines for COVID, deputy head of pharmaceutical services Elena Panagiotopoulou told Cyprus News Agency on Thursday.
She said that the department of purchases and supplies of the Health Ministry is in touch with the manufacturing company.
EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended authorising Ronapreve (casirivimab/imdevimab) and Regkirona (regdanvimab) for COVID-19.
The Committee recommended authorising Ronapreve for treating COVID-19 in adults and adolescents (from 12 years of age and weighing at least 40 kilograms) who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of their disease becoming severe.
Ronapreve can also be used for preventing COVID-19 in people aged 12 years and older weighing at least 40 kilograms. The company that applied for authorisation of Ronapreve was Roche Registration GmbH.
With regard to Regkirona, the Committee recommended authorising the medicine for treating adults with COVID-19 who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are also at increased risk of their disease becoming severe. The applicant for Regkirona was Celltrion Healthcare Hungary Kft.
Dr. Panagiotopoulou told CNA that the manufacturing company could not say exactly when the supplies of these medicines will reach EU member states, but clarified that when the rest of the countries are handed these new drugs, Cyprus will obtain them too. The manufacturing company started the production of these medicines on November 12 when it got the green light for authorization.
Cyprus will receive supplies according to its population, Dr. Panagiotopoulou added.
She said that these medicines will be administered to patients on the basis of a protocol. Only hospital patients will be given these drugs.
She clarified that monoclonal antibody medicines are not administered to the general population and the advice is for them to be administered to patients with mild or moderate illness and before the patient is put on oxygen therapy, so that the heavy illness and death do not occur. But she noted that this kind of therapies could under no circumstances substitute the inoculations.
Deputy head of the pharmaceutical services also said that there is a lot of developments on new therapies for COVID and vaccines and added that when there is an authorisation and supply, Cyprus will receive them too.
She assured that Cyprus is in the supply process the same as other member states.
Cyprus is also participating in the procedures for Pfizer’s antiviral pill, which according to the production company decreases the chances of hospitalisation or death in adult population who are vulnerable to serious illness by 89%.
Dr. Panagiotopoulou also said that in the beginning of next year the new pill molnupiravir, also known as MK4482 or Lagevrio is set to get authorisation for COVID treatment in adults. The pill is produced by Merck Sharp & Dohme in cooperation with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.