AstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail fails to prevent Covid-19 in study

AstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail was only 33% effective at preventing Covid-19 symptoms in people who had been exposed to the coronavirus, failing a study that was key to the drugmaker’s pandemic push.

2021-06-15 05:30:00 PM

AstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail was only 33% effective at preventing Covid-19 symptoms in people who had been exposed to the coronavirus, failing a study that was key to the drugmaker’s pandemic push.

AstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail was only 33% effective at preventing Covid-19 symptoms in people who had been exposed to the coronavirus, failing a study that was key to the drugmaker’s pandemic push.

BySuzi RingAstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail failed a study that was key to the drugmaker’s pandemic push. File image.Image:REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/IllustrationAstraZeneca's antibody cocktail was only 33% effective at preventing Covid-19 symptoms in people who had been exposed to the coronavirus, failing a study that was key to the drugmaker’s pandemic push.

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The trial of 1,121 adult volunteers looked at whether the long-acting antibody combination could protect people who had recently been in contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in places like care homes. The company said it is running other studies of the medicine that could help clarify the findings.

The outcome is a blow to AstraZeneca for a drug that was hoped to be a bright spot in the company’s pandemic efforts following the mixed success of its vaccine with the University of Oxford. Other drugmakers such as GlaxoSmithKline Plc have had some success in getting similar therapies through clinical tests and approved for people who are at risk of severe disease or can’t get vaccinated. headtopics.com

​“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,” said Myron Levin, the study’s lead researcher and a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado.

The AstraZeneca medicine attracted interest even before it could prove its efficacy. The US has ordered up to 700,000 doses of the medicine for delivery in 2021, while the UK was reconsidering an earlier order for one million.AstraZeneca shares were little changed in London trading, rising 0.6%.

Some promiseThe study, conducted in the US and UK, showed 23 volunteers who got the cocktail developed symptomatic Covid-19 following exposure to the disease, compared with 17 cases in the placebo group, according to a statement released on Tuesday. Twice as many participants got the antibody, but the difference between the two groups wasn’t considered statistically significant.

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