AstraZeneca’s antibody drug over 80% effective at preventing Covid, trial shows

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AstraZeneca says its cocktail of antibodies, AZD7442, has given results deemed positive against Covid-19 during phase III clinical trials.

Gerard Bottino | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

AstraZeneca‘s antibody treatment has been shown to be highly effective at preventing Covid-19 in people who may not respond well to vaccines, according to new clinical trial results.

The data showed that patients given a single injection of the antibody treatment, known as AZD7442, were 83% less likely to develop symptomatic cases of the coronavirus than participants who were given a placebo.

An earlier analysis of the trial, conducted three months after the treatment was administered, had shown that the risk of developing severe disease was reduced by 77%.

Six months on from the treatment being administered, no severe cases of Covid-19 or deaths from the virus had been recorded among patients given the antibody cocktail. In a group given the placebo, five participants contracted severe Covid-19 within six months of the trial beginning, and there were two Covid-related deaths.

More than 75% of participants in the trial had underlying conditions that put them at high risk of contracting severe Covid-19, including those whose immune systems were compromised and therefore may have a reduced response to vaccination.

Around 2% of the world’s population is thought to be at risk of not responding well to Covid-19 vaccines, according to AstraZeneca. This includes people receiving dialysis treatment, undergoing chemotherapy and those taking immunosuppressive drugs for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

The phase three clinical trial was conducted across 87 sites in five countries: the U.S., the U.K., Spain, Belgium and France. A total of 5,197 people took part, with 3,460 receiving 300 milligrams of AZD7442 and 1,737 being given a saline placebo.

The six-month assessment included data from 4,991 of the participants, with those who chose to leave the trial to get vaccinated being excluded from the data analysis. Subjects will continue to be assessed for 15 months.

‘Compelling results’



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