AstraZeneca’s Evusheld being evaluated for COVID-19 use in the EU

The drug is the first antibody-based COVID-19 therapy; a preventative shot other than vaccines.

The evaluation of AstraZeneca’s antibody cocktail Evusheld by Europe’s drug watchdog could possibly lead to it being approved for use in the Europe Union (EU). The move comes after the pharma company said trials showed that the drug, made from a combination of two monoclonal antibodies, reduced severe COVID-19 symptoms and deaths. The decision to start the rolling review "is based on preliminary results from clinical studies, which suggest that the medicine may help protect against the disease," the European Medicines Agency stated. Monoclonal antibodies are synthetic analogues of natural antibodies that are able to recognize a certain molecule of the target virus or bacteria. It’s given to those who are already infected to compensate for immune system deficits, it works differently to a vaccine.

The other vaccine developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca is one of the four vaccines that is approved for use in the EU. The company announced that the new drug also known as AZD7442, had shown "good results" in non-hospitalized patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms, including a "statistically significant reduction of severe COVID-19 or mortality." 903 patients took part in the study, with 90% of them being at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. The Evusheld drug which consists of the two monoclonal antibodies (tixagevimab and cilgavimab), is the newest drug to assist the ongoing fight against this virus. As of 19th October, the pandemic has claimed the lives of about 4,899,169 people globally according to data retrieved from the World Health Organization.