Bahrain has approved the emergency use of AstraZeneca’s anti-COVID drug Evusheld, the state news agency reported on Sunday.
Bahrain has become the first country to authorize the drug, which will be limited to adults who suffer from immunodeficiency or who are taking immunosuppressants, as well as individuals with occupations that put them at risk of transmission, the news agency said.
Europe’s drug watchdog said Thursday it has started evaluating AstraZeneca’s anti-Covid cocktail called Evusheld, which could eventually lead to the authorization of its use in the EU.
The move comes after AstraZeneca this week said trials showed that the drug, made from a combination of two monoclonal antibodies, reduced severe Covid-19 symptoms and deaths.
The decision to start the rolling review “is based on preliminary results from clinical studies, which suggest that the medicine may help protect against the disease,” the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said.
It can take several months between the start of a rolling review by the EMA and any eventual green light.
Monoclonal antibodies – which recognize a specific molecule of the target virus or bacteria – are synthetic versions of natural antibodies.
They are administered to people already infected, to make up for deficiencies in the immune system.
This is different from a vaccine, which stimulates the body to produce its own immune response.
AstraZeneca’s separate Covid vaccine is one of the four jabs currently approved for the EU.