Covid drug given to Donald Trump to be rolled out to NHS hospital patients

Donald Trump in the Oval Office
Donald Trump in the Oval Office

Health Secretary Sajid Javid heralded Ronapreve as the first treatment designed specifically for Covid-19 to receive regulatory approval in the UK

Published

A drug given to former US president Donald Trump when he had coronavirus last year is to be rolled out to vulnerable NHS hospital patients.

Last month, Health Secretary Sajid Javid heralded Ronapreve as the first treatment designed specifically for Covid-19 to receive regulatory approval in the UK.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said on Friday that it had the potential to benefit thousands of patients, with its roll out initially targeted at those who have not mounted an antibody response against Covid-19.

The Government has bought enough of the drug to treat eligible hospital patients across the UK from next week, the department said.

Mr Javid said: “We have secured a brand new treatment for our most vulnerable patients in hospitals across the UK and I am thrilled it will be saving lives from as early as next week.

“The UK is leading the world in identifying and rolling out life-saving medicines, particularly for Covid-19, and we will continue our vital work to find the best treatments available to save lives and protect the NHS.”

In August, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the clinical trial data it assessed showed that Ronapreve can be used to prevent infection, treat symptoms of serious infection and cut the likelihood of being admitted to hospital.

Trials took place before widespread vaccination and before the emergence of virus variants.

The drug became the first monoclonal antibody combination product approved for use in the prevention and treatment of acute infection from the virus in the UK.

Monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that act like natural human antibodies in the immune system.

The MHRA said that the drug, developed by pharmaceutical firms Regeneron and Roche and previously known as REGN-Cov2, is given either by injection or infusion and acts at the lining of the respiratory system where it binds tightly to the virus and prevents it from gaining access to the cells.