What are Ronapreve and PF-07321332, the two new COVID-19 treatments Australia has gained access to?

Health Minister Greg Hunt says Australia has procured two new drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.Australia is expecting to be supplied with 15,000 of the antibody-based treatment Ronapreve, as well as 500,000 courses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral antiviral drug PF-07321332.Catch up on the main COVID-19 news from Sunday, October 17 with a look back at our blogHere’s what we know about these drugs and how they work.What is Ronapreve?Known as REGEN-COV in the US, Ronapreve is a combination of monoclonal antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab. The antibodies are designed to stop the virus which causes COVID-19 attaching to a receptor found on the surface of human cells in the respiratory tract. Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreakBinding to two different sites of the spike protein, the antibodies flag the virus as foreign to activate the body’s immune response.The drug has been granted approval for use in more than 20 countries, including the UK, US and the European Union. What is Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral antiviral drug?According to Pfizer, PF-07321332 is the first orally administered experimental drug to be evaluated in clinical trials to specifically target COVID-19. The drug is designed to block activity of the SARS-CoV-2 protease enzyme which is essential for replication of the virus.The drug is to be used in combination with protease inhibitor ritonavir.The co-administration of the drugs helps break down PF-07321332 so it is active in the body for longer.  Read more about the spread of COVID-19 in Australia:The drug was granted provisional determination from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) earlier this month. Are they effective?A clinical trial of Ronapreve treatment in June found the drug reduced hospitalisation by 70.4 per cent. Clinical trials for PF-07321332 are ongoing. Who is likely to receive these drugs?The Australian government says Ronapreve is expected to be administered intravenously for COVID-19 patients in health facilities, with its use expected to be targeted to unvaccinated people at risk of developing severe disease.PF-07321332 is expected to reduce the severity or onset of illness in adults who have, or have been exposed to, COVID-19.When will they become available to the public?The first supply of Ronapreve is expected in Australia by the end of this month. It will be held in the National Medical Stockpile awaiting regulatory approval from the TGA and advice from the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce. Following its approval, it is expected to join sotrovimab and remdesivir for use by health professionals. PF-07321332 is expected to be made available over the course of next year. But its use will depend on the results of drug trials as well as approval from the TGA.  What you need to know about coronavirus:Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.WatchDuration: 2 minutes 53 seconds2m 53s Recycling the waste COVID-19 has created(Emilia Terzon)Loading form…

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