The Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense Oct. 9 announced support for AstraZeneca’s late-stage development and large-scale manufacturing of the AZD7442 investigational treatment for COVID-19.
AZD7442 is a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies that may help treat or prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2. AstraZeneca will receive approximately $486 million under Operation Warp Speed for two Phase 3 clinical trials and related development activities, including a large-scale manufacturing demonstration project and supply of AZD7442 doses in the U.S.
Two other monoclonal antibody cocktails are currently in development, with candidates from Regeneron and Lilly. Both are undergoing clinical trials, with their respective makers also requesting emergency use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration.
HHS and DOD said that effective monoclonal antibodies that can prevent COVID-19, particularly those that are long-lasting and delivered by intramuscular injection, “may be of particular use in certain groups. This includes people who have compromised immune function, those who are over 80 years old, and people undergoing medical treatments that preclude them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.”