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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

AstraZeneca antibody combo first to show benefit in prevention and treatment of COVID-19

Health Industry Hub | October 13, 2021 |
[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

Pharma News: AstraZeneca announced results for the only long-acting antibody combination shown to both prevent and treat COVID-19.

Prof Penny Ward, Independent Pharmaceutical Physician, Visiting Professor in Pharmaceutical Medicine at Kings College, London, said “Interesting data from the TACKLE trial using AZs combination monoclonal antibody IM injection AZD7442 to treat patients with symptomatic COVID and at least one factor making them at higher risk of severe disease. One IM injection of AZD7442 given within 7 days of symptom onset reduced the incidence of severe disease or death by 50%, and given within 5 days by 67%, once again confirming that treatment with an effective antiviral given as soon as possible after first onset of symptoms can reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death with effectiveness being inversely related to duration of symptoms prior to treatment.”

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca, commented “These important results for AZD7442, our long-acting antibody combination, add to the growing body of evidence for use of this therapy in both prevention and treatment of COVID-19. An early intervention with our antibody can give a significant reduction in progression to severe disease, with continued protection for more than six months.”

Prof Ward continued “It is considerably simpler to give an IM injection than an IV infusion making this a suitable product for community deployment to reduce the burden of hospitalisations due to COVID on the NHS. Unlike oral medications monoclonal antibody treatments do not interfere with other medicines a patient may need to take for other conditions, which may potentially make administration simpler for these patients than some of the oral antiviral medicines which have more complex pharmacokinetics; the once and done approach is also attractive in ensuring that patients complete the course of treatment. This monoclonal antibody construct provides long lasting protection against reinfection/disease for up to 12 months and thereby may be a useful addition for immune-suppressed individuals whose response to vaccination is suboptimal.

“Although all patients with COVID could benefit from treatment, patients at particular risk of more severe disease including the elderly, those with cardiac and respiratory disorders, diabetes, cancer and immune suppression. Such a treatment may also help pregnant women who are at particular risk of more severe disease should they become infected. Well done to AZ – another significant contribution to the management of COVID and more help in making it a manageable disease.”

AZD7442 is a combination of two LAABs – tixagevimab (AZD8895) and cilgavimab (AZD1061) – derived from B-cells donated by convalescent patients after SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was discovered by Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in the US and licensed to AstraZeneca in June 2020.

The company has already submitted a request to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorisation for AZD7442 for prophylaxis of COVID-19.


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