24th August 2021
Provent trial results published and NHS approve the first anti-COVID drug Ronapreve.
AstraZeneca has announced that the AZD7442 PROVENT Phase III trial is highly successful in preventing COVID-19
This is an important development for blood cancer and other immunocompromised patients, who may not respond fully to vaccination.
PROVENT, conducted from University College Hospitals London, is the first study to show that an injection of anti-COVID monoclonal antibodies (AZD7442) is significantly protective in a high-risk population, such as blood cancer patients.
There was a 77% reduction in symptomatic COVID-19, with no deaths or severe disease. Side effects were similar to those in the placebo group, who did not receive the treatment.
Separate tests in the laboratory suggest that it is effective against the Delta strain of COVID-19.
Early results seem to suggest that it doesn’t interfere with vaccine response. The one-time injection, given into a muscle, provides six to twelve months of protection.
Prof Penny Ward, Independent Pharmaceutical Physician, Visiting Professor in Pharmaceutical Medicine at Kings College, London, said:
“This could be very important as an option for patients at high risk from COVID infection who have responded poorly to vaccination or who must take immune-suppressing treatment for other diseases (cancer, post-transplant, autoimmune disease etc). Indeed it could potentially be game-changing for these individuals, who are currently being advised to continue to shield despite being fully vaccinated.”
For more on the trial results, see the official press release: AZD7442 PROVENT Phase III Prophylaxis Trial Met Primary Endpoint in Preventing COVID-19.
Although this is exciting news for CLL patients, the treatment has yet to be approved in the UK. We will report again as soon as we have confirmation that it is available.
NICE has approved the first drug developed specifically to combat coronavirus.
Trials have shown that this monoclonal antibody combination is effective in speeding recovery from COVID, reducing hospital admissions and preventing coronavirus infection after exposure to a carrier. It comprises two antibodies and is administered by injection.
The drug has not been tested on immunocompromised patients, but Sir Martin Lindray, professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Oxford says that the treatment might be important for those “…at higher risk of developing severe infection and who are more likely to end in hospital.”
We think that both of these developments are important for CLL patients, and we hope that they will be rolled out to hospitals quickly.
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