As British pharmaceutical AstraZeneca revealed on Monday, a drug in the experimental phase contributes to reduce by 50% the risk of getting serious illness or dying from COVID-19.
In a statement, AstraZeneca presented the results of the last phase of a trial showing that the called AZD7442, a combination of antibodies, achieved a “statistically significant” reduction in severe COVID-19 or death versus placebo assigned to non-hospitalized patients with mild to moderate symptoms of the virus.
90% of the study participants came from populations at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19.
The trial found that a 600-milligram dose of AZD7442 given by intramuscular injection reduced the risk of developing severe disease or dying by 50% compared to symptomatic patients who took placebo for seven days or less.
In those participants who received treatment within five days of presenting symptoms, AZD7442 reduced the risk of developing severe COVID-19 or dying by 67% compared to patients taking placebo.
This AZD7442 trial is the first in phase III to demonstrates benefit in both prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 and it’s easily given by injection, AstraZeneca notes.
“With continued cases of severe COVID-19 infections around the globe, there is a significant need for new therapies like AZD7442 that can be used to protect vulnerable populations from becoming infected with COVID-19 and can also help prevent progression to severe disease. “said Hugh Montgomery, Professor of Intensive Medicine at University College London and principal investigator on the TACKLE trial.
As he added, these positive results show that “a convenient dose of intramuscular AZD7442 could play an important role in helping to combat this devastating pandemic. “
For his part, Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of the pharmaceutical company, pointed out that these results on AZD7442 add to the evidence that there is for the use of this therapy both in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
“An early intervention with our antibody (AZD7442) can obtain a significant reduction in the progression towards severe disease, with continuous protection for more than six months,” emphasized Pangalos.