AstraZeneca agreed to provide up to 500,000 vials of COVID-19 antibodies to the United States at a price of US$205 million.
According to Bloomberg News, AstraZeneca said in a statement on Tuesday (16th) that combined with the previous contract, this will bring the dose to the United States to 700,000 doses. The drug AZD7442 is undergoing late-stage clinical trials and will help protect people who cannot be vaccinated or who have been infected with coronary disease.
The United States has agreed to invest US$726 million in the development and supply of antibody treatments subject to regulatory approval. AZD7442 has proven effective against virus variants in early tests, which may be a key development for vulnerable people who cannot be vaccinated. Although vaccines can protect the general population from disease, not everyone’s immune system can respond adequately. High-risk groups such as cancer patients may need drugs like monoclonal antibodies that can neutralize the virus and mimic the necessary immune response to avoid infection. AstraZeneca is conducting five advanced phase trials for its antibodies.
Other companies are also working on similar projects; the neutralizing antibody from the US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly received emergency approval in the US in November last year as a treatment for high-risk patients from mild to severe cases or hospitalizations. Eli Lilly also partnered with GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Vir Biotechnology Inc. last month to test its antibody combination.