U.S. backs AstraZeneca antibody treatment with $486 million deal

Oct. 12, 2020

The U.S. government has inked a deal worth nearly half a billion dollars with AstraZeneca to develop and secure supplies of its antibody treatment for COVID-19.

Under Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the deal will help AstraZeneca with late-stage development and manufacturing of the treatment, while securing 100,000 doses for Americans.

AstraZeneca’s antibody treatment is similar to Regeneron’s antibody cocktail given to President Trump after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Regeneron has also signed a $450 million deal under OWS to support the development of its antibody treatment, which is still in clinical trials. Eli Lilly also has an antibody treatment that it is being tested in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health.

Both Regeneron and Lilly have applied for emergency use authorizations for their antibody treatments through the FDA.

AstraZeneca’s candidate, AZD7442, uses two monoclonal antibodies and is heading into two separate trials — one will test safety and efficacy on about 5,000 patients while the other will examine post-exposure preventative and pre-emptive treatment efficacy in over 1,000 participants. 

After receiving the Regeneron antibody treatment, Trump called it a “cure,” but the company’s CEO has cautioned that it’s too soon to say how effective it is.

The U.S. government is hoping that antibody therapies could be used as a preventative treatment, especially for people in high-risk populations. 

Read the full CNBC report.