Dexamethasone Taw application to treat COVID-19 to be evaluated by EMA

Dexamethasone Taw will be examined by the EMA on an accelerated assessment timetable, to assess whether it should be given to patients with COVID-19.

Dexamethasone tablets

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started evaluating an application for the authorisation of Dexamethasone Taw for treating hospitalised adult patients with COVID-19. The application, from Taw Pharma, will be evaluated by the EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) according to an accelerated assessment timetable. This will enable the CHMP to issue an opinion on the benefits and risks of Dexamethasone Taw within the shortest possible timeframe.

In July 2020, results from the RECOVERY trial found that in patients receiving hospital treatment for severe respiratory complications of COVID-19, there were fewer deaths in those treated with dexamethasone. In patients on invasive mechanical ventilation, 29 percent of those treated with dexamethasone died within 28 days of starting treatment compared with 41 percent of patients receiving usual care – a relative reduction of about 35 percent. In patients receiving oxygen without mechanical ventilation, the figures were 23 percent with dexamethasone and 26 percent with usual care. No reductions in death occurred in patients who were not receiving oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation.

According to the EMA, before receiving this application, the CHMP had started reviewing the results of the RECOVERY trial in order to provide an opinion on the use of dexamethasone medicines for COVID-19. The outcome of this review will be considered in the evaluation of Dexamethasone Taw.

Dexamethasone Taw is being developed as a hybrid medicine. This means that it is similar to a ‘reference medicine’ (in this case Fortecortin Inject) containing the same active substance, but differs in certain respects, such as strength, use or pharmaceutical form. Like Fortecortin Inject, Dexamethasone Taw will be available as an injectable medicine and if authorised, will be used to treat the same conditions with the addition of COVID-19.

Should the available data show that the benefits of Dexamethasone Taw outweigh its risks in the treatment of hospitalised adults with COVID‑19, the EMA will issue a positive recommendation on the medicine’s new use in patients with COVID-19. The agency will then liaise with the European Commission (EC) to fast-track the authorisation.

Dexamethasone medicines have been authorised for several decades for treating various conditions on the basis of their anti-inflammatory properties. This application has no impact on the use of other dexamethasone medicines.