AstraZeneca antibody cocktail succeeds in late-stage study to treat COVID-19

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Reuters 11 October, 2021 - 04:26am 4 views

Good News on a COVID Treatment From AstraZeneca, per a Late-Stage Trial

Newser 11 October, 2021 - 12:03pm

(Newser) – Good news on the AstraZeneca front, though not about its vaccine. Per Reuters, the UK drugmaker announced Monday that its AZD7442 antibody treatment, meant to be injected into patients showing symptoms of COVID, led to a "statistically significant reduction in severe COVID-19 or death," compared to mildly to moderately ill patients who took a placebo, according to a company release. The findings put AstraZeneca further "on track to potentially offer an alternative to vaccines for people with weakened immune systems," as Reuters noted in August, when the therapy was found in a late-stage trial to reduce the risk of people developing COVID by 77%.

More than 800 subjects took part in the newest study, with 90% of them said to suffer from comorbidities or otherwise be at high risk of developing severe symptoms from COVID. The patients received the antibody cocktail within a week of exhibiting symptoms. When the therapy was administered within five days of showing symptoms, the trial found the risk of severe illness or death was cut even further, by 67%. Forbes notes that most current COVID treatments are intravenous ones only administered once someone is hospitalized and can be expensive and hard to obtain. AstraZeneca says it will be submitting the trial data to a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Meanwhile, Merck had its own news on Monday. The Wall Street Journal reports the company and its partner, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, announced that they've put in an application with the FDA to get emergency use authorization for its antiviral pill molnupiravir, which was found in a recent late-stage study to cut in half the risk of hospitalization or death for those with mild to moderate COVID. If the FDA gives its OK over the next few weeks, that would put the drug into play just in time for what public health experts fear might be a "virulent" winter, notes the Journal. (Read more AstraZeneca stories.)

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