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Covid vaccine: AstraZeneca starts early-stage trials on monoclonal antibodies

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ANDREW YATES BRITAIN-PHARMA-BUSINESS-ASTRAZENECA

AstraZeneca said today it has begun human clinical testing of a two-antibody combination therapy against COVID-19 that it is licensing from Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).

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.

The first participants dosed in the trial will help AstraZeneca assess safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of the combination approach.

"Synthesised in the laboratory, monoclonal antibodies aim to mimic natural antibodies", stated Astrazeneca. It can also treat and prevent the progression of COVID-19 for those individuals that have been infected with the virus.

The Cambridge-based company hopes the antibodies will provide at least six months of protection from COVID-19.

AstraZeneca identified AZD7442, after the evaluation of more than 1,500 antibodies for their ability to bind and neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein.

These were the details of the news Coronavirus: AstraZeneca starts United Kingdom trial of potential wonder Covid-19 drug for this day.

"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.

Astrazeneca has confirmed that it has begun a phase one trial of an antibody treatment that could be used to protect people from the coronavirus.

After licensing the combination from VUMC in June, AstraZeneca optimized the antibodies with half-life extension and reduced Fc receptor binding.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority are providing funding for the trial, the company said. AZD1222 is now being evaluated in phase II/III study in the UK, Brazil and South Africa with a late-stage study due to start in the United States with 30,000 participants in the third quarter of 2020. The company's stocks are trading 16.5% higher than a year ago.

This followed reports that Donald Trump was considering granting emergency authorisation for it to be fast-tracked in the US.

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