AstraZeneca has asked US regulators to grant an emergency use authorization for its antibody therapy drug called AZD7442.
The request came after trial results covering 13 countries which involved 900 adult participants showed that the drug cocktail of two antibodies reduced the risk of severe COVID-19 or death by 50%. The test was conducted in non-hospitalized patients who had symptoms for seven days or less.
AZD7442 contains laboratory-made antibodies designed to linger in the body for months to contain the virus in case of an infection.
According to a report in Reuters, AstraZeneca's therapy, delivered via injection, is the first of its kind to show promise both as a preventative medicine and as a treatment for COVID-19. It is designed to protect people who do not have a strong enough immune response to vaccines.
"These positive results show that a convenient intramuscular dose of AZD7442 could play an important role in helping combat this devastating pandemic," Hugh Montgomery, the trial's principal investigator, said in a statement.
AZD7442 contains laboratory-made antibodies designed to linger in the body for months to contain the virus in case of an infection. A vaccine, in contrast, relies on an intact immune system to develop targeted antibodies and infection-fighting cells.
Other companies have already been developing similar therapies that use ‘monoclonal antibodies’, which are already approved for treating mild-to-moderate COVID in the US.
Regeneron’s therapy has shown 72% protection against symptomatic infection in the first week and 93% after that. GSK and its partner Vir showed a 79% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death, while Lilly’s therapy showed 70% reduction in viral load at day seven.