Home Health AstraZeneca starts new COVID-19 prevention trials of antibody cocktail | CBC News

AstraZeneca starts new COVID-19 prevention trials of antibody cocktail | CBC News

AstraZeneca has started late-stage trials of an experimental long-acting monoclonal antibody combination drug it hopes could be used as a so-called prophylactic to prevent COVID-19 infection in at-risk people for up to 12 months.

The Phase III international clinical trial will recruit a total of 5,000 people across countries in Europe and the United States to assess the safety and effectiveness of the antibody cocktail, known as AZD7442.

The prophylactic treatment differs from a vaccine in that it introduces antibodies, rather than prompting the body’s immune system to make them. It may prove useful in people whose immune systems are weaker or compromised, and who don’t respond to vaccination. Separately, AstraZeneca is developing a COVID-19 vaccine in conjunction with researchers at Oxford University.

In Britain, where the trials of the monoclonal antibody combination kicked off on Saturday, 1,000 participants will be recruited at nine sites, researchers leading the UK arm said.

“What we are investigating in this study is whether we can provide protection by giving antibodies that have been shown to neutralize the virus, by injection into the muscle,” said said Andrew Ustianowski, a professor and chief investigator on the UK study.

“The hope is that this will then provide good protection for many months against infection.”

Monoclonal antibodies mimic natural antibodies that the body generates to fight off infection. They can be synthesized in the laboratory and are already used to treat some types of cancer.

AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 cocktail — which combines two monoclonal antibodies— has the potential both to treat and prevent disease progression in patients already infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and to be given as a preventative medication prior to people such as health-care workers being exposed to the virus.

“These have been engineered specifically to have what we call a long half-life, (so) we think they will confer protection for (at least) six, but more likely closer to 12 months,” Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca’s executive vice president of biopharmaceuticals R&D, told reporters at a briefing.

He said this made the cocktail, “in effect, almost like a passive vaccination.”

Alongside the 5,000-participant trial assessing the drug’s potential as a preventative, AstraZeneca also plans to evaluate AZD7442 as a post-exposure preventative and pre-emptive treatment in roughly 1,100 participants in trials in Europe and the United States.

U.S. investment

The U.S. government last month awarded $486 million US to AstraZeneca to develop and secure supplies of up to 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 cocktail.

The UK government also has an in-principle agreement with AstraZeneca which it says secures access to a million doses of AZD7442 if it is successful in Phase III trials.

Under a plan to set up a global production network, Astra in October enlisted contract manufacturer Lonza to produce the drug in Portsmouth, N.H., starting in the first half of 2021.

Source by [author_name]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

Byddai rheilffyrdd wedi ‘cael mwy o arian’ yn Lloegr

Achubiaeth i Reilffordd Ffestiniog wedi'r cyfnod cloSource by

The hotel, restaurant and bar meals and drinks you can have delivered (including Christmas dinner)

Times are tough for eating out - but luckily, Britain's hospitality industry truly delivers when it comes to dining, and drinking, at home.Talented...

The College Athletes Who Are Allowed to Make Big Bucks: Cheerleaders

During the three years Jamie Andries spent as a member of the University of Oklahoma cheerleading team, she cheered at two Big 12...

Broncos have no quarterbacks available

Jeff Driskel and Drew Lock will not be involved in Sunday's gameWatch the NFL Show every Saturday night on BBC One, BBC iPlayer,...
Translate »