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Astrazeneca's covid antibody drug heads into advanced trials

Astrazeneca started late-stage trials for an antibody medicine against Covid-19 with a large investment from the U.S., after President Donald Trump credited a similar therapy with aiding his recovery.

Foto: PAUL ELLIS/AFP / AFP

Two trials for more than 6,000 people are starting in the next few weeks looking at prevention, with plans for a further 4,000 adults to test the antibody medicine as a treatment, Astrazeneca said in a statement. The drug will be assessed for its ability to avoid infections for as much as a year in some people and as a pre-emptive medicine once patients have been exposed to the virus in others.

Astrazeneca is one of a number of companies exploring monoclonal antibodies as a way to prevent and treat Covid-19, which could be key for high-risk populations who may not respond well to a vaccine. The U.S. has already secured hundreds of thousands of doses of the experimental treatments.

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