AstraZeneca says its antibody treatment for people exposed to coronavirus is not effective

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The vaccine maker said that trial participants were adults over the age of 18 with confirmed exposure to a person who had coronavirus within the past eight days (REUTERS)
The vaccine maker said that trial participants were adults over the age of 18 with confirmed exposure to a person who had coronavirus within the past eight days (REUTERS)

AstraZeneca says its antibody treatment for Covid-19 does not prevent symptoms in people who have been exposed to the virus.

The drug maker announced on Tuesday its treatment, called AZD7442, reduced the risk of developing symptomatic Covid by 33 per cent, compared to the placebo, but that this was not statistically significant.

Trial participants were adults over the age of 18 with confirmed exposure to a person who had coronavirus within the past eight days.

Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of BioPharmaceuticals R&D, at the company said in a statement: “While this trial did not meet the primary endpoint against symptomatic illness, we are encouraged by the protection seen in the PCR negative participants following treatment with AZD7442.”

AZD7442 is currently being tested in several other Covid-19 prevention and treatment trials, the company said.

The full results from the trial, called Storm Chaser, will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The company had previously agreed a deal with with the US Government to supply up to 500,000 doses of AZD7442 for $205m (£145m). 

Discussions regarding next steps with the US Government are ongoing, the company confirmed.

Myron J Levin, professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who was the principal investigator on the trial, said the drug could be effective in preventing Covid in people who have not yet been infected.

He added: “While Covid-19 vaccination efforts have been successful, there is still a significant need for prevention and treatment options for certain populations, including those unable to be vaccinated or those who may have an inadequate response to vaccination.”

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