The antibody therapy lowered the risk of COVID-19 symptoms by 77 percent, the drug-maker claims.
It provides an alternative choice for those who do not receive the full protective effects of already approved vaccines. The PROVENT pre-exposure prophylaxis experiment suggested AZD7442 could potentially give long-lasting protection.
According to AstraZeneca, 75 percent of participants in the stage three trial — which included two types of antibodies found by Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee — had chronic diseases, including some who had a reduced immune response to immunizations.
Regeneron, Eli Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline are all developing similar therapies in collaboration with Vir.
Sir Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca’s Executive Vice President of BioPharmaceuticals Research and Development, stated that the results were obtained three months after the antibodies were given and that researchers would re-check the participants at 15 months.
Sir Mine said: “No other company has delivered two molecules against SARS-CoV2.
“This definitely helps us in positioning us in terms of Covid.”
It comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced antibody drug Ronapreve will “be rolled out to NHS patients as soon as possible”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed it as “an important weapon in fighting Covid, particularly for those who are immuno-compromised.
He said that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) “has approved the first therapeutic treatment designed specifically for Covid-19.
“Alongside our life-saving vaccine programme, this will be an important weapon in fighting Covid.”
Ronapreve was taken by Donald Trump after the former US president tested positive for coronavirus last October.
Unlike treatments such as dexamethasone which calm an overactive immune response, Ronapreve – known as Regen-Cov in America – targets the virus directly. It has two lab-made antibodies that bind to the virus’s spikes, stopping it entering cells and spreading.
The “monoclonal antibodies” are artificial proteins that act like natural human antibodies.
Individuals with weakened immune systems struggle to create the proteins necessary to fight off germs.
Mr Javid said: “This treatment will be a significant addition to our armoury to tackle Covid-19 – in addition to our world-renowned vaccination programme and life-saving therapeutics dexamethasone and tocilizumab.
“We are now working at pace with the NHS and expert clinicians to ensure this treatment can be rolled out to NHS patients as soon as possible.”
Concerns about blood clotting incidents related to the AstraZeneca vaccination were reported in March.
One month later, the European Medicines Agency’s safety committee found that there may be an association between the AstraZeneca vaccination and extremely rare incidents of atypical blood clots.
These uncommon blood clots formed in veins in the brain, belly, and arteries, in association with low platelet counts.
The announcement follows the suspension of AstraZeneca by dozens of European countries, including Germany and France.
French President Emmanuel Macron openly denigrated the AstraZeneca vaccine in January, calling it “quasi-ineffective”.
The repercussions are said to have had a disastrous impact on the European and the global vaccination campaign.
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