Etihad Cargo transports new Covid-19 intravenous treatment to Abu Dhabi

By Rachelle Harry

Etihad Cargo, the Abu Dhabi Department of Health, group purchasing organisation Rafed, and pharma firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have teamed up to facilitate the rollout of a new coronavirus treatment, Sotrovimab, across the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Sotrovimab is a new intravenous (IV) treatment that can be given to adults and children above the age of 12.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) issued its endorsement for the new medicine following USA Food and Drug Agency emergency use authorisation.

The first shipment of the treatment arrived at Abu Dhabi Airport earlier this week via an Etihad Cargo flight.

Rafed will facilitate the procurement, storage and distribution of the treatment via the Rafed Distribution Center, which has cold chain storage capabilities and has played a role in the Hope Consortium’s efforts.

Tony Douglas, group chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, commented: “This achievement further elevates Abu Dhabi’s leading position in the fight against Covid-19, and firmly illustrates the combined capabilities of those entities at the forefront of the capital’s mission. As the UAE’s national carrier, Etihad has played a critical role facilitating the transportation of vaccines and medical supplies to and from the UAE with its specialist pharmaceutical logistics solution.”

Jamal Mohamed Kaabi, undersecretary for the Abu Dhabi Department of Health, added: “Abu Dhabi continues in its efforts to maintain its number one city position globally in terms of resilience and safety in Covid-19 times. Through the non-ending support and guidance from our leadership, we continue in our daily preemptive efforts to search, assess and source through local and international collaboration, the best evidence-based treatment to our population in Abu Dhabi, UAE and beyond. This medicine is at the forefront of pharmaceutical advancement and is a powerful tool in our fight to end this pandemic. We look forward to implement the eligibility criteria for emergency use of Sotrovimab as part of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to lead an all-encompassing Covid-19 response in prevention, treatment and care.”

Rashed Al Qubaisi, chief executive of Rafed, said: “Sotrovimab represents a massive breakthrough in the fight against Covid-19. Through our close collaboration and partnership with the Department of Health and GSK, we have been able to work swiftly in the procurement of the medication to ensure an effective and timely roll-out across the UAE. The Rafed Distribution Center continues to fulfil its mission of better serving the UAE public and extending Abu Dhabi’s Covid-19 response to the world.”

Gizem Akalin, managing director and vice president at GSK Gulf, said: “We have been working very closely with the Abu Dhabi Department of Health and Rafed since the interim results of the clinical trials with Sotrovimab were available.

“[They] have been agile and passionate about accelerating patient access to promising new treatments to confront Covid-19”.

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