AstraZeneca drug cocktail succeeds in late-stage study to treat COVID-19

A medical worker prepares an injection with a dose of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, at a vaccination centre in Baitul Futuh Mosque, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, March 28, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
AstraZeneca's experimental COVID-19 antibody drug cocktail succeeded in reducing severe disease or death in non-hospitalised patients in a late-stage study, the British drugmaker said on Monday.

The drug, called AZD7442, reduced the risk of developing severe COVID-19 or death by 50% in patients who had been symptomatic for seven days or less, meeting the main goal of the trial.

"An early intervention with our antibody can give a significant reduction in progression to severe disease, with continued protection for more than six months," said Mene Pangalos, executive vice president, biopharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca.

The company will discuss the data with health authorities, it added, without elaborating.

AstraZeneca is also developing the drug cocktail as a therapy to protect people who do not have a strong enough immune response to COVID-19 vaccines. It requested emergency approval from US regulators for its use as a prevention drug last week.