Covid antibody candidate AZD7442 : AstraZeneca, US strike deal for additional doses

AstraZeneca has agreed to supply the US government with up to half a million additional doses of AZD7442, the company’s Covid-19 antibody candidate, for a sum of $205 million.

In this connection, AstraZeneca has modified an existing agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US Department of Defense (DoD).

The agreed supply is subject to AZD7442 getting the US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorisation in post-exposure prophylaxis, which is the ability to prevent Covid-19 in people who have confirmed exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The long-acting antibody (LAAB) combination is currently in late-stage development for the prevention and treatment of the novel coronavirus.

The modified agreement builds on an agreement from last October for the support of the late-stage development of AZD7442 and also for the supply of an initial 100,000 doses of the Covid-19 antibody candidate.

The October 2020 agreement had an option to acquire additional doses in 2021.

AstraZeneca also has a separate agreement in place to deliver the US Department of Defense with 100,000 doses, which takes the potential US supplies of AZD7442 to 700,000 this year.

AstraZeneca, US strike deal for up to 500k additional doses of Covid-19 antibody candidate AZD7442

AstraZeneca, US strike deal for up to 500k additional doses of Covid-19 antibody candidate AZD7442. Photo courtesy of AstraZeneca.

Pascal Soriot – CEO of AstraZeneca said: “The long-acting antibody combination has the potential to offer almost immediate protection to those who are not able to be vaccinated, to both prevent infection or treat the disease in patients already infected with the virus.

“The US Government’s support is critical in helping accelerate the development of AZD7442, which we believe will be an important tool in the fight against COVID-19.”

Presently, AZD7442 is being assessed for the prevention and treatment of the novel coronavirus in late-stage trials in 9,000 plus participants across the globe.

The two-LAAB combination has been engineered with AstraZeneca’s half-life extension technology which is said to triple the durability of its action when compared to conventional antibodies.

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