AstraZeneca Seeks U.S. Emergency Approval for Covid Antibody
(Bloomberg) -- AstraZeneca Plc submitted its antibody cocktail for U.S. emergency approval to prevent Covid-19 infection as therapeutic options for the pandemic broaden beyond vaccination.
It’s the first regulatory filing for the medicine, which was 77% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid in a clinical trial that included patients with high-risk factors for severe infection.
The cocktail can supplement vaccines for people who haven’t mounted a strong response to the shots -- or to protect those who couldn’t be immunized. The news comes just days after Merck & Co. fueled optimism that it will soon have the first Covid pill. Both treatments could offer a simple way to treat many patients before they ever reach the hospital.
“We are one step closer to providing an additional option to help protect against Covid-19 alongside vaccines,” Mene Pangalos, Astra’s executive vice president for biopharmaceuticals research, said in a statement.
Discussions regarding supply agreements for the medicine, called AZD7442, are ongoing with the U.S. government and others around the world. Antibody drugs are more difficult to mass produce.
The U.S. ordered as many as 700,000 doses for delivery in 2021, with the value of the contract partly contingent on the results of a previous trial that failed to show it worked in people explicitly exposed to Covid.
Astra shares were little changed in London trading.
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