Please note that the antibody therapy is NOT the same as the vaccine.
AstraZeneca concluded a study to determine whether their antibody therapy against COVID-19 could provide protection from developing COVID symptoms after being exposed to the virus; this trial was done in an effort to find an alternative to vaccines. The results of this trial failed to prove that their therapy could prevent symptomatic COVID-19 in people recently exposed to the virus.
Therapy AZD7442, which belongs to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies that mimic the body’s natural antibodies, was only 33% effective in reducing the risk of developing symptoms in comparison to those who took the placebo—this result is not statistically significant as it could have been likely due to chance. During the Phase III study, which included 1,121 people, there were more promising results. However, many of the participants at the beginning of Phase III were virus free at the onset of the trial.
A positive result from this study: while it was not successful with preventing symptomatic cases in those who have already come in contact with the virus, the therapy did seem to have potential in reducing the chances of illness by giving a level of protection. The study focused on the AZD7442 therapy and showed to be 73% effective in reducing the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 who tested negative when they were given a dose of the therapy.
“While this trial did not meet the primary endpoint against symptomatic illness, we are encouraged by the protection seen in the PCR negative participants following treatment with AZD7442,” AstraZeneca’s Executive Vice President Mene Pangalos stated in regard to the diagnostic tests for COVID-19.
five more studies are ongoing to test their antibody cocktail for treatment and prevention, and the full results have been submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal.