The trial results, it added, showed no coronavirus-related deaths among those who received the therapy -- compared to three cases of severe COVID-19 and two deaths in the placebo group. File Photo by Dan Himbrechts/EPA-EFE
Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Pharma giant AstraZeneca said on Friday that a new antibody therapy has shown to help reduce the risk of symptoms among COVID-19 patients by close to 80%.
The company said results from a late-stage trial show the antibody therapy cut the risk of symptoms by 77%, giving hope to those who have had poor vaccine response in the past.
AstraZeneca is the first to post positive prevention data from a coronavirus antibody trial. The drugmaker said 75% of trial participants had chronic conditions, including some with a lower immune response to vaccinations.
"We need additional approaches for individuals who are not adequately protected by COVID-19 vaccines," Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of AstraZeneca biopharmaceuticals research and development, said in a statement.
"We are very encouraged by these efficacy and safety data in high-risk people, showing our long-acting antibody combination has the potential to protect from symptomatic and severe disease, alongside vaccines."
AstraZeneca said the antibody therapy, called AZD7442, is a combination of two long-acting antibodies. The trial results, it added, showed no coronavirus-related deaths among those who received the therapy -- compared to three cases of severe COVID-19 and two deaths in the placebo group.
"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," added Dr. Myron Levin, professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
The company said it will submit data from the study to regulators for emergency use authorization or conditional approval.
AstraZeneca also announced Friday that it's halting study of a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis due to lack of efficacy.