A new monoclonal antibody treatment has been found to protect chronically ill adults from developing COVID-19. The Phase 3 trial results suggest the novel antibody cocktail, delivered by intramuscular injection, could offer up to 12 months protection.
Antibodies are like our immune system’s front-line soldiers. They constantly circulate around a body, on the hunt for whatever specific pathogen they have been trained to target.
In early 2020 researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center homed in on a handful of particularly potent antibodies, isolated from some of the earliest detected COVID-19 patients. The antibodies were subsequently licensed by pharma company AstraZeneca and turned into monoclonal antibody treatments designed to prevent symptomatic COVID-19 infections.
The new treatment has been dubbed AZD7442 and the latest clinical trial results announced by AstraZeneca indicate it could play an important role in helping protect the most vulnerable from severe COVID-19.
The company’s recent announcement details result from a trial called Provent, which commenced in late 2020. The trial enrolled over 5,000 subjects, focusing on those most at risk of severe COVID-19 either due to chronic pre-existing illness or at risk of a weak response to vaccination due to being immunocompromised.
The newly announced results come from a primary analysis of the recently completed trial and are yet to be peer-reviewed or published in a journal. Over the course of a six-month follow-up period the trial saw no cases of severe COVID-19 or death in those patients receiving AZD7442. This compares to the placebo group that saw three severe COVID-19 cases, two of which led to death.
Overall, AstraZeneca indicates there were 25 symptomatic COVID-19 cases detected in the total trial cohort. AZD7442 was found to reduce a chronically ill person’s risk of symptomatic COVID-19 by 77 percent.
Source: NEW ATLAS