AstraZeneca releases more positive data on COVID-19 treatment with antibodies

AstraZeneca Plc’s anti-Covid-19 antibody combination was more than 80% successful in both preventing symptoms associated with the disease and halting disease exacerbations after six months, demonstrating its potential to provide long-term protection.

The company said Thursday that the drug reduced the risk of developing Covid symptoms by 83% in one trial, after six months of follow-up. The other, which was based on half a year’s data from outpatient participants with mild to moderate illness, found that the cocktail reduced the risk of serious illness or death by 88%.

The results suggested better protection than the initial data even with a higher delta variable, a relief for the British drugmaker after a shaky start when its first trial failed to prevent symptoms of disease in people openly exposed to the virus. The company last month applied for emergency US clearance for the product in a prevention setting.
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The UK has started a rapid review of the drug, and the company plans to apply for permission in the European Union soon.

Hugh Montgomery, professor of intensive care medicine at University College London and lead researcher on the trial, said the findings suggested the drug could provide “my vulnerable patients with the long-term protection they urgently need.” Indicated permanent protection guide even with variable delta height.

Read more: Ahead of the holidays, COVID-19 cases are still below 2020 levels – for now

Data from both trials – known as Provent and Tackle – add to the positive results reported earlier this year.

The Provent trial is specifically designed for people who may not respond adequately to vaccines, such as transplant patients and those undergoing chemotherapy. There were no severe Covid-19 cases or related deaths among those receiving the drug in those tests. The company said five people developed a serious form of the disease and two died in the placebo arm.

The Tackle outpatient trial also focused on those at high risk of developing severe disease with conditions such as cancer, diabetes and obesity. About 52% of participants identified as Hispanic or Latino. The new efficacy figure of 88% was applied to patients who had symptoms for three days or less. Both trials found that the cocktail was generally well-tolerated.

A preliminary reading in August found that the cocktail prevented symptoms of disease in high-risk individuals by 77%, while the drug was shown to cut the risk of mild to moderate disease in half in results published in October.

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