AstraZeneca says COVID-19 drug helps cut risk of severe disease, death

AstraZeneca announced on Monday that its experimental COVID-19 treatment has been found to be effective in late-stage trials at preventing severe illness or death.

When compared to a placebo, AstraZeneca’s antibody treatment, called AZD7442, reduced the risk of developing severe COVID-19 or death by 67 percent, the company said in a press release.

“These important results for AZD7442, our long-acting antibody combination, add to the growing body of evidence for use of this therapy in both prevention and treatment of COVID-19,” Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca’s executive vice president, said.

“An early intervention with our antibody can give a significant reduction in progression to severe disease, with continued protection for more than six months,” Pangalos added.

AstraZeneca said AZD7442 had been shown to prevent COVID-19 viruses from binding to host cells and was able to neutralize COVID-19 variants including the delta and mu strains.

Last week: AstraZeneca applied for an emergency use authorization for the preventative treatment, citing data from a trial showing that AZD7442 was 77 percent effective at stopping symptomatic cases of COVID-19.

The U.K.-based drugmaker has said discussions for setting up a supply agreement with the U.S. are “ongoing.”