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AstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail cuts risk of severe COVID in half, study finds

Published on 12/10/21 at 09:22am

AstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail against COVID-19, which has proven to work as a preventative shot in the non-infected, has been successful in clinical trials in to saving lives and preventing severe disease when given as treatment within a week of first symptoms.

The drug, a combination of two antibodies called AZD7442, reduced the risk of severe COVID-19 or death by 50% in non-hospitalised patients who have had symptoms for seven days or less.

The TACKLE Phase III COVID-19 treatment trial showed AZD7442 reduced the risk of developing severe COVID-19 or death (from any cause) by 67% compared to placebo, and is the first long acting antibody (LAAB) combination to demonstrate benefit in both prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19.

Hugh Montgomery, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at University College London, and TACKLE principal investigator, 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.”

TACKLE included 903 participants in a 1:1 randomisation AZD7442 to placebo, with the primary analysis based on 822 participants.

The risk reduction was even better in patients who started therapy within just five days of initial symptoms, but AstraZeneca joins an already crowded field of medicines that were shown to prevent deterioration in patients with mild disease when given soon after diagnosis.

Similar therapies made with a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies are being developed by Regeneron, Eli Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline with partner Vir. These therapies are approved for emergency use in the United States for treating mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

Regeneron's therapy showed 72% protection against symptomatic infection in the first week, and 93% after that.

GSK-Vir's showed a 79% reduction in the risk of hospitalisation or death due to any cause, while Eli Lilly's therapy showed a 70% reduction in viral load at day seven compared to a placebo.

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “These important results for AZD7442, our long-acting antibody combination, add to the growing body of evidence for use of this therapy in both prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

“An early intervention with our antibody can give a significant reduction in progression to severe disease, with continued protection for more than six months.”

Kat Jenkins

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