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Reduces Risk of Severe COVID-19

AstraZeneca says its antibody drug to treat COVID-19 can reduce risk of severe disease when given early, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In a study published this week in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine, AstraZeneca researchers report results from the ongoing TACKLE phase 3 study that indicate that COVID-19 patients given Evusheld (tixagevimab–cilgavimab) were about 50 percent less likely to develop severe disease that patients who received placebo. Further, the earlier Evusheld was given after symptom onset, the greater that reduction in risk.

The Journal notes that the study was conducted before the Omicron variant became widespread, but that the company says lab-based tests suggest Evusheld would still be effective.

Evusheld is available in the US as preventative measure, the Journal says, adding that AstraZeneca is seeking its authorization from regulators as a COVID-19 treatment. It adds that antibody treatments face competition from pills like those from Pfizer and Merck, as they are now more readily available and can be taken at home.

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