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US authorizes treatment against COVID-19 used by Trump

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an emergency authorization to the biotechnology company Regeneron for the use in the country against COVID-19 of the treatment with monoclonal antibodies that the US president received in October, Donald Trump, to treat the disease.

The authorization limits the use of the drug to people over the age of 12 who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at risk of developing a severe case of the disease, FDA chief scientist Denise M. Hinton explained in a letter. sent to the company.

The drug is a cocktail of two powerful antibodies that, in preliminary studies, have shown promising results in containing the infection, especially when given during the early stages of the disease.

The FDA already granted at the beginning of this month another emergency authorization for the use in the country of a very similar cocktail, owned by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. Neither treatment can be given to hospitalized people or patients who need oxygen.

Shortly after confirming that he had tested positive for COVID-19 in early October, Trump received an 8-gram dose of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, even though its use was not cleared by the FDA.

After overcoming COVID-19, Trump affirmed that this treatment was the main responsible for his improvement and defined it not as “therapy”, but as a “cure”, despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence to support that conclusion.

When he requested the emergency authorization in October, Regeneron assured that, once granted, the US government had “committed to making doses available to Americans at no cost and will be responsible for their distribution.”

The biopharmaceutical then indicated that it had doses for 50,000 patients, but expected to have enough available to treat 300,000 “in a few months.”

The emergency authorization comes on the same day that the United States has exceeded 12 million infections of the new coronavirus and already adds more than 255,000 deaths, more than any other country in the world.