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COVID-19 cure: AstraZeneca develops coronavirus antibody drug cocktail that may also prevent infection for months
Many companies are already undergoing trials for a possible cure to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from the developments made by Pfizer and Moderna in developing their respective vaccines, another pharmaceutical company has made progress.
UK pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has developed a COVID-19 antibody cocktail that can potentially protect the person from infection for up to 12 months. The drug, known as AZD7442, makes use of a different process in helping the body fight the virus compared to a regular vaccine. Late-stage trials of the drug are already underway and the firm has started recruiting international clinical trials involving 5,000 from both Europe and the United States.
AZD7442 relies on the prophylactic process which involves introducing new antibodies into the body to fight the disease instead of triggering the body to create them. The drug acts with monoclonal antibodies that mimic the body’s natural antibodies and this process has already been used to treat cancer patients. This will especially be beneficial for those with weak immune systems compared to simply being vaccines as their bodies have already been compromised from creating new antibodies. The trials began over the weekend in the UK, involving 1,000 participants in nine sites.
The firm announced that this antibody cocktail can potentially treat patients or be taken as a preventative medication especially to healthcare workers at the front lines. “These have been engineered specifically to have what we call a long half-life, so we think they can confer protection for at least six, but more likely closer to 12 months,” said the company’s executive vice president of biopharmaceuticals research and development Mene Pangalos.
As the world waits for vaccines and a cure for COVID-19, people are highly advised to adhere to public health and safety guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Video streaming platform YouTube recently clamped down on the right-wing media organization OANN from posting videos and live streaming for a week, after the organization shared a fake cure for the disease.
Aside from restricting uploads, YouTube has also demonetized the channel, citing that the OANN has repeatedly violated its misinformation guidelines especially related to COVID-19.