Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


First-of-Its-Kind Drug Cuts Risk of Severe COVID-19 in Half, AstraZeneca Says

AstraZeneca’s antibody drug cut the risk of severe COVID-19 by at least 50 percent in a late stage study, the company announced on Monday.

The injection, called AZD7442, contains two different antibodies developed from the the blood of people who previously contracted COVID-19. It’s the first drug of its kind shown to both prevent and treat COVID-19 in late-stage trials, the company said in a press release.


The company has already requested Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to use AZD7442 to prevent COVID-19, after late-stage trial results in August showed it reduced the risk of COVID-19 with symptoms by 77 percent.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

It would now discuss the latest data with health authorities, it said.

The results come after Merck, the US pharmaceutical company, said on Monday it would ask the FDA to authorize its oral COVID-19 pill, which halved the risk of hospitalization or death in a trial.

The latest AstraZeneca results, from the TACKLE trial, showed that the risk of severe COVID-19 or death was halved if people took the drug within seven days of COVID-19 symptoms, AstraZeneca said. Out of 407 people who got the drug, 18 developed severe COVID-19 or died – compared with 37 of 415 people who got a saline injection.

If AZD7442 was given earlier, within five days of symptoms, the risk of severe COVID-19 was reduced by 67 percent, the company said. On this timing, nine of 253 participants in the AZD7442 group got severe COVID-19 or died, compared with 27 out of 251 in the placebo group.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

AstraZeneca tested the drug on 822 adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 in 13 countries, including the US and UK, it said. The drug, which works by stopping the virus that causes COVID-19 from binding to the body’s cells, was “generally well tolerated,” it said in the release. It didn’t detail any side effects.


Protection for vulnerable people

Mene Pangalos, executive vice president at AstraZeneca, said in a statement that “early intervention with our antibody can give a significant reduction in progression to severe disease, with continued protection for more than six months”.

AstraZeneca looked at the drug’s impact at day 29 of the TACKLE study, which is expected to follow participants for up to 15 months. AstraZeneca’s early stage studies have previously shown that antibodies last at least nine months after the drug is given.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Penny Ward, visiting professor in pharmaceutical medicine at Kings College, London, said in a statement that long-lasting protection, up to 12 months, may be “a useful addition for immune-suppressed individuals whose response to vaccination is suboptimal”.

Most people in the trial, 90 percent, had comorbidities that put them at high risk of severe COVID-19, including cancer, diabetes, obesity, chronic lung disease or asthma, cardiovascular disease, or immunosuppression, and 13 percent were aged over 65, AstraZeneca said.

Ward said that unlike oral pills, monoclonal antibody treatments given as an injection, such as AstraZeneca’s, don’t interfere with other medicines. This “may potentially make administration simpler for these patients,” she said.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

More from Business Insider:


Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


A new kind of chemotherapy derived from a molecule found in a Himalayan fungus has been revealed as a potent anti-cancer agent, and may...


Developed by Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most amazing engineers ever born, it is an example of a bridge that you can build...


You can’t see them from the surface, but they’re definitely there. Scientists have revealed the discovery of hundreds of ancient ceremonial sites, many of...


Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere reached record levels last year, the United Nations said Monday, in a stark warning as Britain’s Boris Johnson...


Your internal organs grow and change throughout your life, but rarely do they vanish without a trace. For baby octopuses, things are not so simple....


Almost 20 years after researchers first predicted electron quadruplets, evidence of their existence has been shown to occur in experimental setups, representing a brand...


Now, possibly more than ever before, engineers and scientists happen to be taking inspiration from nature when developing technology. This is especially true for...


Playing through the greenery and litter of a mini forest’s undergrowth for just one month may be enough to change a child’s immune system,...


It had been only designed to fly five occasions. But NASA’s helicopter on Mars, Resourcefulness, has completed 12 flights also it is not prepared...