AstraZeneca announced plans this week to supply up to 500,000 additional doses of AZD7442, an under-development, long-acting antibody combination meant for use against COVID-19, modifying an existing agreement with the U.S. government.
Specifically, the agreement was reached with the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Defense (DoD). It builds on an agreement from October 2020, which called for 100,000 initial doses of the treatment and offered developmental support in return. AZD7442 is currently in late-stage development.
“The long-acting antibody combination has the potential to offer almost immediate protection to those who are not able to be vaccinated, to both prevent infection or treat the disease in patients already infected with the virus,” Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, said. “The U.S. Government’s support is critical in helping accelerate the development of AZD7442, which we believe will be an important tool in the fight against COVID-19.”
AZD7442 is a combination of two long-acting antibodies procured from convalescent patients that had been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the viral cause of COVID-19. It was originally discovered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center and licensed to AstraZeneca, which optimized them.
The treatment is currently being evaluated for use in both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in late-stage trials. More than 9,000 participants are a part of those trials.