This weekend, a major trial of an antibody cocktail that scientists can use to protect people from COVID-19 and quickly use it in nursing homes or cruise ships in the event of an outbreak will begin.
British volunteers will receive the first dose of the drug that is expected to provide immediate protection to vulnerable people. The jab on the arm muscles works immediately and can last from 6 months to a year. If it works as predicted by scientists, it can be used to protect people who cannot get the vaccine because of their medical condition.
Moving on to large-scale phase 3 trials in the UK, the drug is made by AstraZeneca, the same pharmaceutical company affiliated with Oxford University to develop the vaccine. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is the UK government’s biggest hope for a mass vaccination campaign next year. The UK pre-ordered a 100m dose, but unlike competitive vaccine trials from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, it has not yet published efficacy results.
When asked if the vaccine is ready for use by the end of 2020, Sir Mene Pangalos, Senior Vice President of Biopharmaceutical R&D at AstraZeneca, said: It seems like you’re hoping that you can get it by the end of the year once the vaccine shows you are safe and effective.
Pangalos said antibody drugs would be almost like passive vaccinations. I think it’s also important to have monoclonal antibodies as a potential treatment, as vaccines that don’t respond to the vaccine are either very effective or you won’t actually get the vaccine. .
Monoclonal antibodies are produced in the laboratory and can improve the immune system’s response to invading viruses. Beginning over the weekend, the Phase 3 trial recruits 5,000 patients worldwide to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of long-lasting antibodies. There are 9 sites in the UK with 1,000 patients, half of which will be given test drugs and the other half will be given placebo.
UK trials test whether this drug protects people without Covid infection. In future clinical trials, before anyone knows if you have an infection, you will see if it can help you develop a nursing home. It will also be tested later as an early treatment for covid disease.
Kate Bingham, head of the UK Vaccine Task Force, said the drug is part of our portfolio to protect the UK as a whole. The UK has issued an interim order for a dose of 1 m.
The vaccine usually takes 6 weeks to work, but it protects people right away.
Vaccines work on people with a functional immune system and are basically the only current way to provide short-term passive immunity when immunity is suppressed and you are receiving a treatment that actually reduces your ability to trigger a bone marrow transplant or immune response. She said.
But the cost is high. Two companies that produced antibody cocktails to treat people in hospitals, Regeneron and Eli Lilly, priced from $600 (451) to $1,000 per serving. The number of people receiving the antibody cocktail instead of the vaccine was relatively small, Pangalos said. There are millions of doses versus billions, he said.
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