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US News Monoclonal antibodies could soon arrive in France to fight Covid-19

16:00  25 february  2021
16:00  25 february  2021 Source:   nouvelobs.com

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  Les anticorps monoclonaux pourraient bientôt arriver en France pour lutter contre le Covid-19 © Copyright 2021, L'Obs

The order could be announced in the coming days. While the epidemic situation in the country is more worrying than ever, and that new restrictions could be announced this Thursday by Prime Minister Jean Castex, new drugs, monoclonal antibodies, are about to arrive in France. A reason for hope to reduce the serious forms of Covid-19.

According to "Le Figaro" , the government is considering acquiring more than 170 million euros from the American group Eli Lilly. The Directorate General of Health has not confirmed the order to our colleagues, but assures us that "new treatments, including monoclonal antibodies, are being monitored very closely".

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According to several sources, a temporary authorization for use (ATU) is about to be issued by the Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM). "At the beginning of March at the latest, the order of tens of thousands of doses should be announced", affirms for its part "the Point" . France would then be the "second European country to authorize them, after Germany".

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What does this class of drugs consist of, from which Donald Trump had benefited with the treatment of Regeneron Monoclonal antibodies are used today in the treatment of cancer and certain autoimmune diseases. This involves looking for an antibody suitable for disease in our organism, then cloning its DNA in order to reproduce it in large quantities and use it on a large scale.

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Regeneron is thus a blend of two antibodies, casirivimab and imdevimab. "It's a bit like taking convalescent plasma, but it's a more sophisticated step, which above all makes it possible to select the most powerful antibodies," explains Brigitte Autran, on the Europe 1 site.

A significant cost

Against the Covid-19, their effectiveness seems promising. "When they are given very early, after the onset of symptoms, they seem to decrease the viral load and can reduce the risk of severe forms occurring in patients who present serious risk factors", confided to the "Figaro" the Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah, who chairs a working group within the ANRS Emerging infectious diseases on the subject.

“It could therefore be interesting to prescribe them very early, at most five days after the onset of symptoms. " Should the" zero Covid "strategy be imported into France?

If the Regeneron cocktail has also shown some efficacy in hospitalized patients, "the treatment proposed by Eli Lilly has stopped being dispensed in American hospitals because it does not seem effective when it is prescribed late", a nuance nevertheless doctor.

Monoclonal antibodies, however, have a flaw: their cost, around 1,000 to 2,000 euros per dose. Such treatment could therefore be reserved for patients most at risk of developing severe forms. Another limitation: uncertainty remains as to their effectiveness in the face of the different variants.

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Several sectors of the department are affected by an increase in the incidence rate © N. Bonzom / Maxele Presse Wearing a mask is compulsory in Montpellier EPIDEMIA - Several sectors of the department are affected by an increase in the incidence rate L'Hérault is not in the list of departments "under surveillance", unveiled by the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, on February 25.

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