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AstraZeneca starts trial of COVID-19 antibody treatment

Coronavirus NewsAug 25, 2020 09:35
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is displayed on a screen on the floor at the NYSE in New York 2/2

By Pushkala Aripaka and Aakash B

(Reuters) - British drugmaker AstraZeneca (L:AZN) has begun testing an antibody-based cocktail for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, adding to recent signs of progress on possible medical solutions to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The London-listed firm, already among the leading players in the global race to develop a successful vaccine, said the study would evaluate if AZD7442, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), was safe and tolerable in up to 48 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 55 years.

If the UK-based early-stage trial, which has dosed its participants, shows AZD7442 is safe, AstraZeneca said it would proceed to test it as both a preventative treatment for COVID-19 and a medicine for patients who have it, in larger, mid-to-late-stage studies.

AstraZeneca shares were up about 1% at 87 pounds ($114) in early trading.

Development of mAbs to target the virus, an approach already being tested by Regeneron (O:REGN), ELi Lilly (N:LLY), Roche (S:ROG) and Molecular Partners (S:MOLN), has been endorsed by leading scientists.

mAbs mimic natural antibodies generated in the body to fight off infection and can be synthesised in the laboratory to treat diseases in patients. Current uses include treatment of some types of cancers.

U.S. infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci has called them "almost a sure bet" against COVID-19, and AstraZeneca in June received $23.7 million in funding from U.S. government agencies to advance development of antibody-based treatments for COVID-19.

"This combination of antibodies, coupled to our proprietary half-life extension technology, has the potential to improve both the effectiveness and durability of use in addition to reducing the likelihood of viral resistance," said Astra's executive vice president of biopharmaceuticals R&D Mene Pangalos.

Though vaccines are at the heart of the long-term fight against the pandemic, alternative treatments are also being advanced, and the United States on Sunday authorized use of recovered COVID-19 patients' plasma to treat those who are ill.

The Financial Times reported at the weekend that President Donald Trump's administration was considering a fast-tracked approval of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine before November's elections.

AstraZeneca starts trial of COVID-19 antibody treatment
 

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Comments (3)
ger ber
ger ber Aug 25, 2020 14:32
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Dr Anthony Fauci warns against rushing out vaccine- You do know a rash to not properly tested vaccine could be 1000x more lethal right? There’s a reason we test them over long periods of time...
sun shine
sun shine Aug 25, 2020 8:32
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Buy for short trem
Martin Skawinski
Martin Skawinski Aug 25, 2020 8:19
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so scary , safer to wait for covid to be hit, than taking that s... in your blood
Ash Nichanametla
Ash Nichanametla Aug 25, 2020 8:19
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don't Bury your head in sand and think you will be fine with Covid infection. ask people who have been ill with it. COVID is not to be taken lightly
Jonas Dar
Jonas Dar Aug 25, 2020 8:19
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scary?? why do you think they do testing before it hit the market... nothing worse than antivaxers.. they are like flatearthers
Martin Skawinski
Martin Skawinski Aug 25, 2020 8:19
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i dont know any, my wife work in hospitsl uk got friends in us hospital, doctors, nurses write all flues and almost all deads blaiming corona. gov pay more if happened . dont be fuled !
Martin Skawinski
Martin Skawinski Aug 25, 2020 8:19
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do you believe them lol , trump before plandemia said that vaccine are harmfull and make autism so the same guy telling different now
 
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