AstraZeneca Wants Permission to Use COVID-19 Drug in the US
The British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has requested an extraordinary permit for the use in the United States of its latest drug, which prevents COVID-19 disease. The drug, currently called AZD7442, is intended for people with weak immune systems, which would make vaccination ineffective. Vaccines rely on the immune system to produce antibodies in response to the injection to protect the person from the coronavirus. AZD7442 works on a different principle, after artificially created antibodies build the drug, and the recipient does not have to wait for his body to respond by creating protective antibodies, explains Reuters.
The results of a phase III study were shown to the US Food and Drug Administration, which showed a 77% effectiveness of the drug. The results quoted by the regulator were taken in the third month after taking the drug, but the pharmaceutical company hopes to advertise the product as immunity for a whole year, as the people involved in the study will be monitored for the next 15 months. The drug was made thanks to the discovery of monoclonal antibodies by scientists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and its release in America would be a great success for the pharmaceutical company, since its vaccine has not yet been approved for use overseas. The company said talks with the United States and other governments were ongoing.
Similar therapies made on the same type of monoclonal antibodies are being developed by competitors, including Regeneron and GlaxoSmithKline. For now, AstraZeneca seems to have the upper hand in this process. Experts believe that this will not affect the approval of the company's vaccine in the United States, for which its management said it would submit documents in the second half of 2021. In the United States, vaccination against coronavirus is carried out with Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
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