A monoclonal antibody combination, was launched on Jan 6 in the country’s private hospitals for the prevention of Covid-19 in high-risk individuals. It was developed by AstraZeneca’s Evusheld (tixagevimab and cilgavimab.
The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) had granted conditional registration for Evusheld in May 2022 for the pre-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) of Covid-19 in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older weighing at least 40kg who are unlikely to mount an adequate immune response to Covid-19 vaccination, or for whom Covid-19 vaccination is not recommended.
Evusheld’s introduction to Malaysia’s private market means that the most vulnerable individuals, including immunocompromised patients with underlying health conditions, high-risk individuals and those unable to be vaccinated, can now benefit from an additional prevention option by paying for it through private hospitals.
Dr Sanjeev Panchal, Country President, AstraZeneca Malaysia, said: “Evusheld is an option for high-risk patients to prevent Covid-19 alongside vaccination. While vaccines continue to remain an important tool in the arsenal of protection against the virus, there are some vulnerable populations who are unable to mount an adequate protection from the vaccine alone and some of whom Covid-19 vaccination is not recommended.
“The conditional approval and availability of Evusheld in Malaysia represents an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to contribute towards public health as the country transitions to endemicity and protect high-risk individuals against Covid-19.”
Evusheld is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), tixagevimab and cilgavimab, administered as two intramuscular injections. Unlike a vaccine, which takes time to train the body’s immune system to respond to a virus, antibodies like Evusheld mimic the body’s natural immune response to immediately identify and attack the virus.
The antibodies work by binding to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus at two different sites. By attaching to the spike protein, the medicine is expected to stop the virus from entering the body’s cells and causing infection.
Results from the PROVENT Phase III pre-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that Evusheld reduced the risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 by 77 per cent in the primary analysis, and by 83 per cent in the six-month follow-up analysis, compared to placebos. – The Health