A USD60 million contract has been awarded by the U.S. Army to pharma major, AstraZeneca to manufacture AZD7442, a combination antibody product intended to prevent or treat clinical effects of SARS-CoV-2.
The contract is for a minimum of 100,000 treatment courses and work will be performed in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2021.
AZD7442 is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in development for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
The first participants were dosed in a Phase I trial on August 25th, to assess safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of the combination.
The would include up to 48 healthy participants in the UK aged 18 to 55 years and was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the US Department of Defense, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services.
“This trial is an important milestone in the development of our monoclonal antibody combination to prevent or treat COVID-19. This combination of antibodies, coupled to our proprietary half-life extension technology, has the potential to improve both the effectiveness and durability of use in addition to reducing the likelihood of viral resistance,” said Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, in a statement announcing the Phase 1 Trials.
Should AZD7442 prove to be tolerated and have a favourable safety profile in the trial, AstraZeneca will progress it into larger late-stage Phase II and Phase III trials to evaluate its efficacy as a potential preventative and treatment approach against COVID-19.
Synthesised in the laboratory, the treatment has the potential to be given as a preventative option for people exposed to the virus, and to treat and prevent disease progression in patients already infected by the virus.
Copyright: U.S Army.
Photo By: Army Sgt. Amanda Hunt
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