The Irish Government has agreed a supply deal with pharmaceutical company GSK, which will result in patients here being able to access the drugmaker's new Covid-19 treatment.

GSK and development partner Vir Biotechnology agreed a contract last year with the EU to supply up to 220,000 doses of sotrovimab for use by member states.

Last month the intravenously delivered drug received marketing authorisation in Europe, given Ireland and other member states who are part of the EU deal the freedom to order the treatment.

As a result, sotrovimab is now available for use in Ireland.

"As we continue to navigate the pandemic using all the public health tools available to us, there remains a patient need for treatment options for those who test positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk of progressing to severe disease," said Director of Medical Affairs for GSK Ireland, Dr Eavan Daly.

"This important supply agreement with the Irish Government enables access to sotrovimab for doctors managing cases of COVID-19 in medically vulnerable patients."

In phase 3 clinical trials, sotrovimab was shown to reduce hospitalisations for more than 24 hours or death due to Covid-19 by 79%.

It is only authorised for use in adults and over 12s with Covid-19 who do not need supplemental oxygen and who are at greater risk of developing severe illness.

However, it is recommended that it is administered within five days of Covid symptoms first appearing.

The monoclonal antibody drug is one of a number of treatments for Covid-19 that are being developed and rolled out at present.