A new antibody treatment is being tried amid hopes it can prevent people from contracting COVID-19 after exposure to the disease.
The antibody, known as AZD7442, was developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and is being investigated by the NHS Trust, University College London Hospital as part of a new trial called Storm Chaser.
Dr Catherine Hollihan, a virologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who is leading the Storm Chaser trial, said: ‘We know that this antibody combination can neutralize the virus, so we hope to find that giving this treatment by injection can lead to immediate protection from has evolved Covid-19 In people who have been exposed – when it is too late to introduce a vaccine.
Ten people have been injected as part of the trial so far and UCLA aims to recruit 1,125 people worldwide.
Major groups include health care workers, students in shared accommodations, those recently exposed to COVID-19, those in long-term care, the military and others such as factory workers.
AstraZeneca is also the company working with the University of Oxford on a potential COVID-19 vaccine, which is awaiting approval for use in the UK.
Meanwhile, another antibody is being tested in the hope that it will help people who cannot benefit from vaccinations, such as those with weakened immune systems, or those at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to factors such as age or their health.
The trial of this antibody is called Provent and it will be tested on volunteers including the elderly, those under long-term care and those with conditions such as HIV and cancer.
“We want to reassure anyone that a vaccine might not work for them and they can offer an alternative that has the same protection,” said Dr. Nikki Longley, an infectious disease consultant at the University of California, Los Angeles, who leads the undergraduate part of Provent.
Professor Stephen Powies, National Medical Director at NHS England said: “The NHS’s continued contribution to leading the global effort to combat COVID-19 is remarkable.
“These two clinical trials are an important addition to testing new therapies, as antibody therapies may provide an alternative for groups of patients who cannot benefit from the vaccine, such as patients who are immunocompromised.”
The trial news comes with the number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Coronavirus 70,000 passes.
On Christmas Eve, UK registered The largest daily number of cases At 39237.