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Coronavirus: AstraZeneca antibody cocktail apparently achieves positive results


Will there be a cure for Covid-19 soon? The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has developed an antibody compound that, according to initial results, could reduce severe courses and deaths.

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Drawing up a syringe (symbolic image)

Photo: Sebastian Condrea / Getty Images

According to its own information, the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has achieved good results in the treatment of corona sufferers with an antibody preparation. As the company announced on Monday, the compound AZD7442 reduced the cases of severe courses and death in Covid-19 sufferers by half when it was administered within seven days of the onset of symptoms. If the agent was injected within five days, the number of people who were seriously ill or died was 67 percent lower than in the comparison group that received a placebo agent.

The drug consists of two antibodies that are injected with a syringe.

According to the manufacturer, the dose is 600 milligrams.

The antibodies produced artificially in the laboratory are designed to stay in the body for months in order to fight the virus in the event of an infection.

In contrast to a vaccination, the antibodies are mainly effective for people whose immune systems are not working as well.

"These positive results indicate that simple intramuscular administration of AZD7442 could play an important role in fighting the pandemic," said study director Hugh Montgomery.

The phase III study was carried out on around 900 adult patients with mild to moderate Covid 19 symptoms who were not in the hospital. However, a large proportion of the participants (90 percent) belonged to groups with an increased risk of a severe course, for example due to previous illnesses such as cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. In the study, 18 severe courses or deaths were observed in the group that received the drug and 37 in the other half, i.e. the group that received only the placebo. The injection was well tolerated, it is said.

The preparation can be used both as prophylaxis and as a means of therapy, said Mene Pangalos, who is responsible for bio-pharmaceuticals at AstraZeneca, according to the announcement.

"Early intervention with our antibody can significantly reduce the progression of a severe course and protect it for six months," he said.

Similar therapies with so-called monoclonal antibodies are currently being developed and tested by Regeneron, Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline.

The Swiss company Roche has also developed such an antibody cocktail.

AstraZeneca now wants to apply for an emergency approval in the USA for the prophylactic administration of its drug.

"We will continue to talk to the regulatory authorities about the new data," said an AstraZeneca spokeswoman on Monday.

The final and complete study results would be published in an independently audited journal.

Another study examines the effect of AZD7442 in hospitalized patients.

kry / Reuters / dpa

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-10-11

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