Sotrovimab Joins the WHO List of Potential COVID-19 Treatments

The monoclonal antibody was conditionally recommended for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients at high risk of hospitalization.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has made an eighth update to their living COVID-19 therapeutics guidelines, according to statement released last week.1

Monoclonal antibody sotrovimab has been “conditionally recommended” to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in those who are at high risk of hospitalization, a list that includes patients who are older, immunocompromised, have underlying conditions, or are unvaccinated.

The treatment joins baricitinib, a current treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, that was recommended by WHO in July 2021.

Two other drugs were also reviewed by WHO experts: ruxolitinib and tofacitinib. However, the effects of these drugs were “uncertain,” leading to a conditional recommendation against their use.

According to the statement, these recommendations are based on data and evidence from 7 clinical trials inclusive of more than 4000 patients with COVID-19 ranging from nonsevere disease to those in severe and critical condition.

Currently, WHO is “in discussions with manufacturers to secure global supply capacity and equitable and sustainable access to the newly recommended therapeutics,” the statement noted, through the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) Therapeutics pillar, which continues to engage with pharmaceutical companies to create “comprehensive access plans” for low- and middle-income countries.

Baricitinib and sotrovimab are both eligible for WHO Prequalification and assessment of the quality, efficacy, and safety of these products.

Reference

  1. WHO recommends two new drugs to treat COVID-19. World Health Organization. January 14, 2022. Accessed January 20, 2022. https://www.who.int/news/item/14-01-2022-who-recommends-two-new-drugs-to-treat-covid-19