AstraZeneca’s antibody therapy prevents COVID-19 in study

August 20, 2021 - 5:28 PM
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AstraZeneca logo
The logo for AstraZeneca is seen outside its North America headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., March 22, 2021. (Reuters/Rachel Wisniewski/File Photo)

AstraZeneca said on Friday its antibody therapy met the main goal of preventing COVID19 disease in a late-stage study, putting the British drugmaker on track to potentially offer an alternative to vaccines for people with weakened immune systems.

The company said the cocktail of two types of antibodies, initially discovered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, reduced by 77% the risk of developing symptomatic COVID19, the potentially deadly disease caused by the coronavirus.

More than 75% of the participants had chronic conditions, including some linked to a diminished immune response to vaccination, it said.

The results mark a change of fortune for the drugmaker, which reported in June that a smaller late-stage trial failed to provide evidence that the antibody cocktail, known for now as AZD7442, protected people who had contact with an infected person from the disease.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, which has faced challenges with the rollout of its COVID19 vaccine, is also working on repurposing existing drugs to fight the virus. — Reporting by Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Jason Neely