Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021

COVID-19: AstraZeneca antibody injection able to prevent and treat coronavirus, latest study shows

An antibody injection has been shown to both prevent and treat COVID-19, according to a study.

Developed by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, the treatment called AZD7442 is made up of two antibodies.

It has already been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use as a preventative treatment.

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On Monday, new data from its Tackle trial showed AZD7442 was effective in preventing severe disease in non-hospitalised patients with mild to moderate coronavirus when compared with a placebo.

A single dose given by injection managed to reduce the risk of developing severe COVID or death by 50%, when compared with a placebo, in people who had been symptomatic for a week or less.

Most of the 903 people in the trial were at high risk of developing severe COVID, including those with multiple health conditions.

The treatment has been billed as suitable for people who are unable to have a regular vaccination, responded poorly to a jab, or have health conditions that put them at particular risk of serious illness.

Hugh Montgomery, lead researcher and professor of intensive care medicine at University College London, said the results show the treatment could “play an important role” in fighting the pandemic.

He said: “With continued cases of serious COVID-19 infections across the globe, there is a significant need for new therapies like AZD7442 that can be used to protect vulnerable populations from getting COVID-19 and can also help prevent progression to severe disease.

“These positive results show that a convenient intramuscular dose of AZD7442 could play an important role in helping combat this devastating pandemic.”

Full results from the Tackle trial are set to be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Executive vice president for biopharmaceuticals research and development at AstraZeneca, Mene Pangolos, said the results “add to the growing body of evidence for use of this therapy in both prevention and treatment” of the virus.

A separate study of more than 5,000 adults, published in August, showed there were no fatalities or cases of severe COVID in those treated with AZD7442.

More than 75% of people in that trial had health issues that put them at increased risk of severe disease or they had a reduced immune response to vaccination.

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