Preliminary results from phase-III clinical trials of an experimental COVID-19 drug developed by AstraZeneca have shown that it significantly reduces the risk of severe infection and death.
Named as AZD7442, the experimental drug is a cocktail of two Long-Acting Antibody (LAABs) called Tixagevimab or AZD8895 and Cilgavimab AZD1061.
The experimental drug is delivered through injection and is the first of its kind to act both as preventive medicine and treatment for Coronavirus.
It is also being touted as a “game-changer” for people who do not generate adequate protection against Coronavirus even after receiving COVID-19 vaccines.
The trial’s principal investigator, Hugh Montgomery, said that “these findings show that a convenient intramuscular dose of AZD7442 could play an important role in helping combat this devastating pandemic.”
AstraZeneca organized the trials in 13 countries in which over 900 non-hospitalized patients who had the symptoms of the virus for less than 7 days participated.
During the phase-III clinical trials, half of the participants were administered AZD7442 while half were given a placebo.
As per the initial findings of the trials, AZD7442 cut down the risk of severe Coronavirus infection and death by 50%.
AstraZeneca is also holding a separate trial to assess the efficacy and safety of AZD7442 among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, details of which remain undisclosed.
How Does it Work?
AZD7442 is an experimental drug consisting of a cocktail of two Long-Acting Antibody (LAAB) called Tixagevimab or AZD8895 and Cilgavimab AZD1061.
These two LAABs have been made in the laboratory and are designed to remain in the body for months to fight the virus in case of infection.
In contrast, a vaccine depends on an intact immune system to generate targeted antibodies.
Course of Action
AstraZeneca, UK-based drug manufacture whose COVID-19 vaccine is being used across the globe, will now submit the findings of phase-III clinical trials of the AZD7442 to healthcare regulators all over the world to seek Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its landmark drug.