CAIRO, EGYPT : AstraZeneca announced today the signing of a procurement agreement for its new long-acting antibody (LAAB) combination Evusheld (tixagevimab co-packaged with cilgavimab) with the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement, Medical Supply, and Technology Management for the Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP).
Upon regulatory approval, Evusheld (formerly AZD7442) is intended to protect vulnerable populations who may be unable to mount an adequate immune response following COVID-19 vaccination, and to help prevent progression to severe disease if individuals do become infected. This news follows the recent FDA emergency use authorisation of Evusheld in the US for the pre-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) of COVID-19.
About 2% of the global population is considered at increased risk of an inadequate response to a COVID-19 vaccine., This includes people with blood cancers or other cancers being treated with chemotherapy, patients on dialysis, and those taking medications after an organ transplant or who are taking immunosuppressive drugs for conditions including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
This agreement is in line with the country’s efforts to combat COVID-19, making Egypt the second country in the Middle East, and one of the first in the world, to procure Evusheld for immunocompromised patients.
The primary data supporting Evusheld are from the ongoing PROVENT Phase III pre-exposure prevention trial, which showed a statistically significant reduction (77% at primary analysis, 83% at median six-month analysis) in the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 compared to placebo, with protection from the virus continuing for at least six months. In the TACKLE Phase III outpatient treatment trial, Evusheld reduced the risk of developing severe COVID-19 or death (from any cause) by 50% compared to placebo in non-hospitalised patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who had been symptomatic for seven days or less, 67% when patients were treated within five days of symptoms and 88% when treated within three days. 5
Hatem El-Werdany, Egypt Country President for AstraZeneca, said: “Today’s signing highlights our unwavering commitment to delivering uninterrupted, innovative medical solutions to Egypt and the Middle East region. Egypt is one of the first health ministries in the region to procure Evusheld, the world’s first long-acting antibody combination, with Phase III data demonstrating benefit in both the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. We are proud to join the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population in stepping up the fight against COVID-19 by supporting the unmet needs of vulnerable patient and ensuring all Egyptians can be protected from the virus.“
The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population has scaled up its vaccination rates over the past few months and reached millions of people. The Ministry has opened vaccination centres quickly that have the capacity to vaccinate thousands of people per day and are constantly encouraging the population to register to receive their doses through a number of local initiatives. The Ministry is continuously reinforcing the importance of adhering to the precautionary measures implemented by the authorities to prevent the spread of the virus including new variants.