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An ‘antibody cocktail’ capable of preventing 100% of symptomatic COVID-19 infections is underway

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An antibody cocktail underway at the UVA Health has the ability to block 100% of symptomatic COVID infections, early clinical trials suggest.

Early results from a clinical trial of an antibody cocktail that was being tested at the UVA Health, suggest that the cocktail has the ability to block 100% of symptomatic COVID infections.

The cocktail’s manufacturer Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the cocktail has released interim data which suggests that those who carried asymptomatic infections had accumulated far less virus in their bodies, and their infections were resolved just within a week.

Dr. William Petri Jr, one of the leaders of the trial at UVA said, “This is the first treatment shown to prevent COVID-19 after a known exposure, and offers protection for unvaccinated individuals caring for a family member with COVID-19.”

“We expect that Regeneron will file for emergency use authorization from the FDA so that this drug can be used outside of the context of a clinical trial,” he added.

The third phase of the clinical trial primarily aims at determining whether the antibodies are able to prevent COVID-19 infection among people who have been exposed to the infection but haven’t yet developed the disease. This is called ‘Passive immunization‘.

In a recent analysis by Regeneron, outcomes in more than 400 trial participants were looked at. The participants were divided into two groups wherein one group received the antibody cocktail, and the other received a placebo.

From a group of 186 people who received the antibodies, no individual developed symptomatic COVID-19, while 15 of them developed asymptomatic infections. On the other hand, out of 223 people who received a placebo, 8 had developed symptoms of COVID-19, while 23 had developed an asymptomatic infection.

Also, the antibody group showed a speedy recovery and in 7 days, as compared to the placebo group. While the placebo group carried infections for nearly three to four weeks.

The duration of viral shedding was 9 weeks in the antibody group,  whereas 44 weeks in the placebo group. The placebo group also had a member’s death, with another member being hospitalized

The study has not been published in the scientific journal as yet. Dr. William Petri Jr. said, “We are profoundly grateful to the nurses and staff of the UVA COVID-19 clinic, led by Dr. Debbie-Anne Shirley. Their day-to-day support made our participation in this trial possible.”

Phase-3 clinical trials examine the safety and efficacy of newly developed and researched drugs as well as treatments in a large number of people. Successful results in such trials can encourage the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide the antibody cocktail for the post-exposure prevention of COVID-19.

It is also of equivalent significance to remember that cocktail is not a vaccine and would not provide permanent immunity against COVID-19.

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