A critically ill 17-year-old has become one of the first in the UK to be offered a new ground-breaking antibody treatment as he fights Covid-19 in St George's Hospital.

Max Khadar, a popular TikTok star, was the first in south London and one of the first in the country to be offered Ronapreve, a lifesaving new drug which was approved for use just a few days ago.

The teenager was born with a heart condition which means he is immunosuppressed, puts him in the high-risk category for Covid-19 and is unable to be vaccinated.

Max said he felt "very thankful and very grateful" as he continues to fight the virus in hospital in Tooting.

"And, actually I feel very special to be the first at St George's and one of the first in the UK to receive this treatment."

“I’ve been looked after by the NHS ever since I was born due to my condition, so I’d like to say thank you to all NHS staff for caring for people like me who are vulnerable and need that additional support, particularly at the moment with Covid-19.”

Wandsworth Times: St George's Hospital in TootingSt George's Hospital in Tooting

St George’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Richard Jennings, said: “Ronapreve reduces the risk of dying for older patients and those who are more vulnerable – and, importantly, it also speeds up recovery time.

“We are very proud to be one of the first hospitals in the UK to roll out this new form of treatment, after having undertaken the RECOVERY trial at St George’s too.”

Ronapreve is the first neutralising antibody medicine specifically designed to treat Covid-19 to be authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the UK.

The drug is administered via a drip and works by binding to the virus’ spike protein, stopping it from being able to infect the body’s cells.

Ronapreve is made up of two monoclonal antibodies and will be offered to vulnerable patients, like Max, who test positive for Covid-19 but are unable to build their own immune response to fight the disease due to being immunosuppressed.

The treatment was approved following results from the RECOVERY trial which St George’s recruited patients onto.

Thousands of patients across the UK will benefit from this treatment once fully rolled out across the UK but it doesn’t reduce the need for members of the public to be vaccinated and St George’s continues to offer the jab to staff and patients.

Dr Tihana Bicanic, Reader and Consultant in Infectious Diseases at St George’s, University of London and St George’s Hospital and Principal Investigator of the RECOVERY trial, said: “At St George’s, we are extremely proud of our participation in the RECOVERY trial, having enrolled a total of 275 patients since March 2020.

"RECOVERY has repeatedly shaped and defined how we treat COVID-19 globally, leading to lives saved following positive results for dexamethasone and tocilizumab and most recently Ronapreve.

"We are very excited to now be rolling out Ronapreve to our most vulnerable NHS patients who have been unable to mount an immune response to the virus.