AstraZeneca has a new antibody therapy that could address the worries of most when it comes to protection from the coronavirus.

According to a study, it reportedly reduces the risk of people developing Covid-19 symptoms by 77% in a late-stage trial. Hence, it may provide people protection especially for those who respond poorly to vaccines.

"It could potentially be game changing for these individuals, who are currently being advised to continue to shield despite being fully vaccinated," Penny Ward, Visiting Professor in Pharmaceutical Medicine at Kings College in London stated.

75% of the participants in the trial had chronic conditions. It included some with a lower immune response to vaccinations. It should be noted that similar therapies are being made with a drug class called monoclonal antibodies.

This is being developed by Regeneron, Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline with partner Vir but AstraZeneca is the first to publish positive COVID prevention data from an antibody trial.

Further tempering this development was with another statement from the drug manufacturer tied to another trial for a rare neurological disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It was developed by Alexion, a group acquired by AstraZeneca but was stopped early due to lack of efficacy.

According to AstraZeneca executive Mene Pangalos, the therapy trial results were taken three months after the antibodies were injected and investigators would follow up as far out as 15 months in the hope the company can tout the shot as a year-long shield.

"We’re really trying to help patients that need an added level of protection on top of a vaccine," Pangalos said.

The prospect of adding another COVID-19 product under AstraZeneca may enhance the strategic value of its existing vaccine Vaxzevria. This was developed in collaboration with Britain's Oxford University.

"No other company has delivered two molecules against SARS-CoV2. This definitely helps us in positioning us in terms of COVID," Pangalos explained.

With most now wary of the threat of the Delta variant, drug companies are busy trying to figure out ways to give people added protection. The findings in recent studies are promising although more are likely to come out moving forward.

A paramedic prepares a dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
A paramedic prepares a dose of AstraZeneca vaccine for patients at a walk-in COVID-19 clinic inside a Buddhist temple in the Smithfield suburb of Sydney on August 4, 2021. Photo by Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

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