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

picture courtesy: phamaceutical-journa.com

ABC News: 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.

Here’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.

Binding 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.

Courtesy: abc.net.au