A Covid-19 antibody injection created by AstraZeneca appears to both prevent and treat the virus, new data suggests.
The company has filed for emergency approval with the US Food and Drug Administration for AZD7442, which consists of two antibodies, as an early preventive treatment.
Study data showed that the treatment was effective at preventing the development of severe symptoms in coronavirus patients with a mild or moderate form of the disease when compared to a placebo.
Most of the 903 out-of-hospital patients in the study were at high risk of progression to severe Covid-19, including those with multiple health conditions.
The study found that a single 600 mg dose of AZD7442 injected into the muscle reduced the risk of death or serious illness by 50 percent compared to placebo in people who had been symptomatic for seven days or less lowered. For people treated within five days of their first symptoms appearing, that number reached 67 percent.
The results have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Hugh Montgomery, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at University College London and lead researcher on the study, said: “With the ongoing cases of severe Covid-19 infections around the world, there is a significant need for new therapies such as AZD7442 that can be used to treat those at risk Protecting population groups from infection with Covid-19 and can also help prevent the progression to a serious illness.
Vaccination has been touted as an alternative for people who do not have a normal vaccination or who respond poorly to Covid-19 vaccines, and for those whose health puts it at particular risk for serious illness.
A separate study on AZD7442 published in August showed that there were no cases of serious deaths related to Covid or coronavirus among those treated. The study of more than 5,000 adults found that AZD7442 reduced the risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 by 77 percent compared to a placebo.
More than 75 percent of people in this study had health problems that put them at increased risk of serious illness or had a decreased immune response to the vaccine.
Additional coverage from PA Media