AstraZeneca released Phase 3 data showing promising results for a combination antibody therapy that prevents COVID-19, possibly opening the door to an alternative option for people who may not see the full protective benefits from the currently authorized vaccines. The PROVENT pre-exposure prophylaxis trial showed AZD7442 reduced the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 by up to 77% compared to a placebo.
The combination of two long-acting antibodies is, according to the company, the first modified to potentially provide long-lasting protection with demonstrated clinical trial success. Also of note, over 75% of the trial participants had comorbidities, including some associated with reduced vaccine effectiveness.
The trial, which included 5,197 participants, took place in multiple countries including the U.S. Data showed that the therapy was well tolerated and that there were no cases of severe COVID-19 or COVID-19-related death in participants who received the therapy. In the placebo arm, there were three cases of severe COVID-19 and two deaths. Overall the trial had 25 cases of symptomatic COVID-19.
“The PROVENT data show that one dose of AZD7442, delivered in a convenient intramuscular form, can quickly and effectively prevent symptomatic COVID-19,” Myron J. Levin, MD, professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said in a news release. “With these exciting results, AZD7442 could be an important tool in our arsenal to help people who may need more than a vaccine to return to their normal lives.”
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been authorized in the U.S., but has been rolled out elsewhere in the world.