AstraZeneca starts trial of COVID-19 antibody treatment

AstraZeneca is working in partnership with Oxford University to develop both a vaccine and antibody treatment for Covid-19. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 25 August 2020

AstraZeneca starts trial of COVID-19 antibody treatment

  • The treatment aims to mimic natural antibodies generated in the body to fight off infection
  • The AstraZeneca - Oxford University trials are among the most advanced in the world for antibody treatments

LONDON: AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it had begun testing an antibody-based treatment for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, with the first participants dosed, adding to recent signs of progress on possible medical solutions to the disease.
The British drugmaker, whose COVID-19 vaccine candidate is already among the most advanced, said the early-stage trial would evaluate if AZD7442, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), was safe and tolerable in up to 48 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 55 years.
If the UK-based trial has a positive readout, AstraZeneca said it would proceed with larger, mid-to-late-stage trials to test AZD7442 as both a preventative treatment for the disease and a medicine for patients who have it.
mAbs mimic natural antibodies generated in the body to fight off infection and can be synthesised in the laboratory to treat diseases in patients and has been endorsed by top scientists. Current uses include treatment of some types of cancers.
London-listed AstraZeneca in June received $23.7 million in funding from US government agencies to advance development of antibody-based treatments for the novel coronavirus.
US based companies Regeneron and ELi Lilly are also testing mAbs-based treatments for COVID-19.


Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike

Updated 18 January 2021

Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike

  • The Chinese special administrative region last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec. 19 with 109 cases

HONG KONG: Hong Kong reported 107 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest toll in nearly a month as authorities tested thousands of residents after an outbreak in an old residential building located in a busy commercial and residential area last week.
The Chinese special administrative region last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec. 19 with 109 cases. At its peak in July 2020 the city logged 149 new infections.
Dozens of infections were found last week in a densely packed apartment building in Yau Tsim Mong, a teeming district in the city’s Kowloon area.
Authorities thereafter ordered mandatory testing on hundreds of people living in the area and neighboring streets.
Hong Kong has recorded nearly 10,000 coronavirus cases and 162 deaths since the start of 2020.
Businesses are reeling from ongoing COVID-19 restrictions which have banned gatherings of more than two people and closed sport facilities, beauty salons and all restaurants for dining after 18:00 local time.