AstraZeneca: Antibody treatment did not prevent symptomatic COVID-19 in recently exposed people

AstraZeneca on Tuesday announced that its antibody treatment does not prevent symptomatic COVID-19 in recently exposed people. 

The company studied how well the antibody would work on 1,121 people who had been exposed to the coronavirus within eight days, a press release from the company states.

Overall, the company’s "storm chaser" trial showed the drug, AZD7442, only lowered the risk of developing COVID-19 symptoms by 33 percent compared to a placebo.

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The results were also not statistically significant so the 33 percent success could have been by chance and not from the treatment.

There were better results, however, with those who tested negative for COVID-19 at the beginning of the trial, with the drug reducing the risk of developing symptoms by 73 percent. 

“While this trial did not meet the primary endpoint against symptomatic illness, we are encouraged by the protection seen in the PCR negative participants following treatment with AZD7442,” Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of biopharmaceuticals research and development, said.

The results come as a number of companies are looking at alternative treatments for the disease due to the number of people who may not be able to get vaccinated. 

“While COVID-19 vaccination efforts have been successful, there is still a significant need for prevention and treatment options for certain populations, including those unable to be vaccinated or those who may have an inadequate response to vaccination,” Myron Levin, the principal investigator for the trial, said.

Similar drugs have been approved for use in the U.S.

The study has not been peer-reviewed and the full results of the trial won’t be available until it is.