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AstraZeneca to supply Singapore with antibody drug for COVID-19 treatment by end of the year

AstraZeneca to supply Singapore with antibody drug for COVID-19 treatment by end of the year

A general view of the offices of British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in Macclesfield, Cheshire on Jul 21, 2020. (File photo: AFP/Paul Ellis)

SINGAPORE: Biopharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, will deliver its antibody drug for COVID-19 treatment to Singapore by end of this year.

The company has signed a new purchase agreement with the country to deliver Evusheld, a drug cocktail, it said in a news release on Friday (Dec 10).

Evusheld, which combines two “long-acting” antibodies - tixagevimab and cilgavimab - has been studied for both the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 in more than 9,000 participants, AstraZeneca said.

A Phase 3 trial of the drug showed an 88 per cent reduced risk of severe COVID-19 or death when patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 were treated within three days of symptom onset, it added.

Preliminary findings have also shown effectiveness against variants of concern, including Delta, the drugmaker added.

“Currently available preclinical data also suggest that Evusheld efficacy should not be significantly impacted by the new Omicron variant,” AstraZeneca said.

In response to CNA's queries, the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday confirmed that it has purchased Evusheld for the treatment of COVID-19.

“This is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that we have a range of COVID-19 treatment options for different patient groups,” said MOH.

Country president of AstraZeneca Singapore, Mr Vinod Narayanan, said that Evusheld provides healthcare professionals and patients in Singapore with a “new option” to fight the virus.

“Additionally, Evusheld will provide another prevention option for high-risk populations, alongside vaccines, including for people who are immunocompromised and unable to develop the needed degree of protective response following COVID-19 vaccination,” he said.

Earlier this week, the company received Emergency Use Authorization for Evusheld from the US Food and Drug Administration, the news release said. AstraZeneca said it has also filed for regulatory approvals in other countries.

In October, MSD, which is known as Merck in the United States and Canada, said that it had entered a supply and purchase agreement with Singapore to provide molnupiravir, an investigational antiviral drug to treat COVID-19, if it is authorised or approved.

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Source: CNA/ng(gr)


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