The corona vaccines have one catch: they are not completely safe. But the experimental antibody drug from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca could offer immediate protection against Covid-19. The researchers hope they will be approved soon.
When most people think of AstraZeneca, they typically think of the Corona vaccine, which the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company produced together with the University of Oxford and which is now approved in many countries. But AstraZeneca is also investigating another promising drug to suppress the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
It is a drug used to prevent Covid-19 diseases in people who were directly exposed to the coronavirus after administration. The active ingredient known as AZD7442 can, according to experts, be an essential addition to the approved vaccines and help save the lives of many people in the coronavirus pandemic.
AstraZeneca Anti-Corona Drug: A Successful Vaccine Supplement?
Vaccinations can make an important contribution to ending the corona pandemic, but they have a catch: they usually only take effect after a few weeks and thus delay safety. Especially when, as with the Biontech active ingredient, two vaccines are required for maximum protection, the risk of serious illness persists for some time. The corona preparation developed by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and AstraZeneca, however, will automatically immunize.
The principle of the drug: AZD7442 uses a mixture of two long-lived antibodies taken from recovered patients with Covid-19 and developed in the laboratory. Many who came into direct contact with SARS-CoV-2 could be prevented by the preparation from contracting Covid-19.
If we can show that this treatment works and prevents people exposed to the virus from developing COVID-19, it would be an exciting addition to the arsenal of weapons being developed to fight this horrific virus. ”
In late August, with help from the US government, AstraZeneca began testing the drug on volunteers. With more than 1,100 volunteers, the third and final phase III study began in mid-October. In this last step, the active ingredient should be tested for effectiveness and protection.
Study also on people with weakened immune systems
The researchers concerned are already hoping for emergency approval this spring if the drug proves successful and safe in the study. It could, according to the Guardian, be used to treat nursing home residents or, for example, hospital patients.
Another phase III study at London’s UCLH is also examining whether the potential corona drug can also be used in immunocompromised people who, for example, cannot be vaccinated because of cancer or another immunodeficiency.