New antibody treatment ‘both prevents and treats Covid-19’

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A COVID-19 antibody injection made by AstraZeneca appears to prevent and treat the virus, new data suggests.

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The firm has applied to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for AZD7442, which is composed of two antibodies, as a preventive early-intervention treatment.

It said the trial data showed that the treatment effectively prevented the development of severe symptoms in coronavirus patients who had a mild or moderate form of the disease, compared to a placebo.


Most of the 903 non-hospitalized patients in the trial were at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19, including several health conditions.

The study found that injecting a 600mg dose of AZD7442 into a muscle reduced the risk of death or serious illness by 50 percent, when compared to a placebo, in people who were symptomatic for seven days or less. . For people treated within five days after the first symptoms appeared, that figure jumped to 67 percent.

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The results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Hugh Montgomery, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at University College London and lead researcher on the trial, said: “With continuing cases of severe COVID-19 infection around the world, there is a critical need for new therapies such as AZD7442 that can be used to treat the disease. It can also help protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19 and prevent the progression of serious disease.

The jab is touted as an option for people who are unable to respond poorly to normal vaccinations or COVID-19 vaccines, and whose health conditions put them at particular risk of serious illness.

A separate study by AZD7442, published in August, showed that there were no cases of severe COVID or coronavirus-related deaths among those treated. A study of more than 5,000 adults found that AZD7442 reduced the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 by 77 percent compared to a placebo.

More than 75 percent of the people in that trial had health problems that put them at increased risk of serious illness, or reduced their immune responses to vaccinations.

Additional reporting by PA Media


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