AstraZeneca releases results from ‘Storm Chaser’ study
- STORM CHASER study results
- AZD7442 could reduce patients’ risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 by only about 33%
- AZD7442 is also being tested in other COVID-19 treatment and prevention trials
AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN) released its ‘Storm Chaser’ study results on Tuesday that at first glance appear disappointing but beyond the headline takeaway, there were some positives. The trial assessed both the efficacy and safety of the LAAB (long-acting antibody) combination, AZD7442, designed to battle the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
‘Storm Chaser’ results
The ‘Storm Chaser’ trial failed to achieve the main objective of post-exposure prevention of the symptomatic COVID-19 patients.
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People who participated in the trial were unvaccinated adults, aged 18 years and above, who’ve been in contact with a person who’s been suffering from the SARS-CoV-2 virus for at least eight days. AZD7442 reduced the risk of patients developing symptomatic Covid-19 by only about 33%, which isn’t statistically significant.
The trial was conducted on 1,121 people using a 2:1 randomization ratio AZD7442 to placebo. All the people that took part in the trial-tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies before they took the dose. A nasal swab was also taken and analyzed to determine whether they had SARS-CoV-2.
Encouragingly, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Medicine Myron J. Levin, M.D, said that the ‘Storm Chaser’ results suggested that AZD7442 might prevent symptomatic COVID-19 in people who aren’t already infected. While COVID-19 vaccines have proved successful, there’s still a need for both treatment and prevention solutions for specific populations, including those who aren’t responding well to the vaccines or those who can’t be vaccinated.
Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, said in the press release:
While this trial did not meet the primary endpoint against symptomatic illness, we are encouraged by the protection seen in the PCR negative participants following treatment with AZD7442.
What exactly is AZD7442?
AZD7442 is a combination of cligavimab (AZD1061) and tixagevimab (AZD8895) taken from B-cells that people have given after SARS-CoV-2. This human monocional antibody, which Vanderbilt University Medical Center discovered and licensed to AstraZeneca, binds to certain SARS-CoV-2 protein sites. AstraZeneca then optimized these antibodies with reduced Fc receptor binding and half-life extension.
AZD7442 is also being tested in other COVID-19 treatment and prevention trials. One of them being the PROVENT Phase 3 trial that has more than 5,000 people participating in it. These antibodies are being analyzed in both intravenous and IM administration routes. The United States government has supported its development, and they believe it’ll go a long way in helping battle the COVID-19 pandemic.