AstraZeneca Covid antibody injection effective at reducing risk of severe illness or death from the virus, trial says

AstraZeneca has released new data from phase-three trials of its Covid-19 antibody injection, AZD7442, showing it reduces the risk of developing severe illness or death from the coronavirus in vulnerable people.

The pharmaceutical giant’s Covid treatment has been touted by the company as a potential alternative for those unable to receive a coronavirus vaccine due to health conditions that put them at risk of adverse side-effects.

The TACKLE Phase III trial found the injection reduced the risk of developing severe symptoms or dying from Covid-19 in non-hospitalized patients by between 50% and 67%, protecting vulnerable individuals and reducing pressure on health services, AstraZeneca said on Monday.

“With continued cases of serious Covid-19 infections across the globe, there is a significant need for new therapies like AZD7442 that can be used to protect vulnerable populations from getting Covid and can also help prevent progression to severe disease,” said Hugh Montgomery, professor of intensive care medicine at University College London and the trial’s principal investigator.

Executive VP at AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceuticals research and development, Mene Pangalos, said the trial showed the antibody treatment has the potential to act as an “early intervention” option that can halt the “progression to severe disease.”

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The company’s study will be submitted to a peer-reviewed medical journal shortly.

The latest trial data backs up an earlier study of 5,000 people, released in August, that found no fatalities or severe symptoms of Covid in people who had received the treatment. 

Earlier this month, AstraZeneca submitted an emergency use authorization request to the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment.

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