April 16, 2024

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$157 million: AstraZeneca Introduces Early-stage COVID-19 Drug

$157 million: AstraZeneca Introduces Early-stage COVID-19 Drug


$157 million: AstraZeneca Introduces Early-stage COVID-19 Drug.

On May 17, AstraZeneca announced a partnership with RQ Biotechnology to introduce an early-stage novel coronavirus monoclonal antibody.

AstraZeneca will pay up to US$157 million for the exclusive global license of the drug. No specific information on the drug has been disclosed.


$157 million: AstraZeneca Introduces Early-stage COVID-19 Drug

From: official website of the company


With the deal, London-based RQ Biotechnology announced on May 18.  The company develops therapeutic and preventive therapies based on potent broad-spectrum monoclonal antibodies that provide immediate and long-lasting immunity to people at risk of serious illness or death from existing, emerging viral infections.

The management comes from well-known pharmaceutical companies or research institutions such as Sanofi, Pfizer, Imperial College London, and Oxford University.


Previously, AstraZeneca has a long-acting neutralizing antibody combination AZD7442 (Evusheld, Tixagevimab + Cilgavimab) approved for marketing, for severely immunocompromised adults and adolescents over the age of 12 and those who should not be vaccinated against the COVID-19 vaccine or immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine Pre-exposure prophylaxis for underrepresented populations.

The drug is the first neutralizing antibody combination approved for prevention, and has a long-acting advantage. A single intramuscular injection can achieve preventive immune protection for up to 12 months, which is more than 3 times that of ordinary neutralizing antibodies.


AZD7442 is a combination of two long-acting antibodies, tixagevimab (AZD8895) and cilgavimab (AZD1061), extracted from B cells of convalescent patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus. Discovered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center and licensed to AstraZeneca in June 2020.

AstraZeneca utilizes its proprietary YTE half-life extension technology to optimize neutralizing antibodies to reduce Fc receptor and complement C1q binding for long-term effects.


Approval of the drug is based on data from the Phase III PROVENT study. The study included high-risk and immunocompromised subjects, more than 75% of whom had comorbidities. 5197 subjects were randomized 2:1 to receive 300 mg of AZD7442 (n = 3,460) or placebo (n = 1,737).


6-month follow-up data from prevention trials showed that a single intramuscular injection of the long-acting antibody combination reduced the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 by 83%; a separate treatment trial showed that treatment within three days of symptom onset reduces the risk of severe COVID-19 The risk of -19 or death was reduced by 88%.


In addition to the PROVENT study for prevention in high-risk patients, AstraZeneca started the Phase III TACKLE study in outpatients, announcing its positive results in mid-November 2021.






$157 million: AstraZeneca Introduces Early-stage COVID-19 Drug

(source:internet, reference only)

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