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AstraZeneca seeks approval for COVID-19 antibody treatment

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

AstraZeneca has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve its COVID-19 antibody treatment that would act as a long-acting drug mainly for those with compromised immune systems.

The drug-maker, which was among the first to create a COVID-19 vaccine, said its antibody treatment, AZD7442, is a first of its kind therapy that utilizes long-acting antibody protection.

“First and foremost, we want to protect those vulnerable populations that haven’t been adequately protected by the vaccine.

“But ultimately it will be up to health authorities to work out who they choose to immunize.” said Menelas Pangaloa, AstraZeneca’s head of Research and Development.

According to Pangaloa, the antibody treatment is made for boosting a person’s immunity for up to a year.

He said the current antibody drugs only offer just a month or two of protection.

The FDA has already authorized three additional antibody drugs.

“Two of those drugs can be distributed after a person has been exposed to COVID-19 and will help prevent symptoms. AstraZeneca’s drug on the other hand would only be given as a preventive measure in addition to a vaccine.

“On the topic of vaccinations, the FDA has already said that any antibody remedies are not a reason to avoid getting vaccinated. That is because they offer the best level of protection, especially for the long-term.”

According to studies conducted by AstraZeneca, their antibody treatment reduced the chance of developing Covid-19 related symptoms by 77 per cent.

More than three-quarters of the participants in this study were immunocompromised already.

Pangalos added that the drug will provide an additional option to help protect against COVID-19 alongside vaccines.

AstraZeneca also intends to ask for authorization of their treatment in Europe.

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