It was another busy week for both COVID-19-related clinical trial news as well as trial updates for other indications. Here’s a look.
AstraZeneca reported the long-acting antibody (LAAB) combination, AZD7442, will advanced into two Phase III clinical trials. The trials will evaluate more than 6,000 participants in and outside the U.S. The LAABs have been designed with the company’s proprietary half-life extension technology. The intention is to increase the durability of the antibodies for six to 12 months after a single dose. AZD7442 is a cocktail of two LAABs, which decreases the risk of the SARS-CoV-2 virus developing resistance to the antibodies.
AZD7442 is made up of two LAABs derived from convalescent patients who recovered from COVID-19. The LAAB technology was discovered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center and licensed to AstraZeneca in June 2020. They were optimized by AstraZeneca with half-life extension and reduced Fc receptor binding. The reduced Fc receptor binding is to minimize the risk of antibody-dependent disease enhancement, which sometimes happens where antibodies against a virus promote, instead of inhibit, infection and disease.
One of the AZD7442 trials will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the antibody cocktail in preventing infections for up to 12 months in about 5,000 participants. A second trial will study about 1,100 patients who have been exposed to COVID-19 to determine if it can prevent the disease post-exposure. The company also is planning additional trials in about 4,000 patients for treatment of COVID-19.