AstraZeneca COVID-19 drug 83% effective at preventing symptomatic infection in trials

AstraZeneca said Nov. 18 that a phase 3 trial showed its COVID-19 antibody drug reduced the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 by 83 percent, and a separate phase 3 trial showed the drug reduced the risk of severe COVID-19 or death by 88 percent when given within three days of symptom onset. 

The drug, called AZD7442, is a combination of the antibodies tixagevimab and cilgavimab and is given in a one-time dose. 

In the first clinical trial, more than 75 percent of the participants had a comorbidity that put them at risk for severe COVID-19 if infected. There were no cases of severe COVID-19 or death from the virus in those treated with the antibody drug, compared with five severe cases and two deaths in the placebo group. 

The antibody drug also remained protective after six months despite the surge of the delta variant, AstraZeneca said. 

The drugmaker said its product could help provide protection to people who don't have an adequate response to a COVID-19 vaccine. About 2 percent of the global population is at increased risk of an inadequate response to a vaccine because of factors such as cancer, cancer treatment or taking immunosuppressive drugs, AstraZeneca said. 

The drugmaker has a deal to supply the U.S. government with 700,000 doses of the drug if it's given emergency use authorization by the FDA. 

Read the full news release here.


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