04 / 08 / 2022
A research team from the College of Medicine at the University of Sharjah (UoS) in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), have conducted the largest study of its kind in the world to determine the effectiveness of the drug sotrovimab at almost 11,000 Covid-19 patients in the UAE, and they found that the monoclonal antibody sotrovimab was far better than anti-viral drug, favipiravir, at preventing people from needing hospital treatment as it reduces the risk of progression of Covid-19 when administrated early.
The study was conducted at the UoS’s Research Institute of Medical & Health Sciences, equipped with the most advanced technology, under the supervision of Prof. Rabih Halwani, professor of immunology at the UoS. This study, published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, indicates that sotrovimab should be used as an alternative to anti-viral drugs to combat Covid-19.
Prof. Halwani pointed that in the mid-2021, the UAE authorities gave the green light to the use of sotrovimab based on the results of an earlier international clinical trial, in which nearly 300 patients administered the drug were compared with a similar number not given it, thus, the UAE was a prime early user of sotrovimab. He also stressed that sotrovimab is suitable for patients who are at risk from the coronavirus, but should not be given to everyone with Covid-19, because it may increase the pressure on the virus to mutate and produce new variants that escape the antibodies’ effect.
Prof. Halwani noted that based on the data collected from the latest study, sotrovimab is thought to be less effective against omicron, which emerged in November last year, and this may highlight the need for new treatments.
“We are, hence, in a race against Sars-Cov-2’s mutating ability and the development of a therapy or vaccine addressing the newly emerging variants is our ongoing challenge,” Prof Halwani said.