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COVID: The drug AstraZeneca neutralized Omicron particles in the study

AstraZeneca says its antibody-based cocktail to prevent and treat COVID-19 has been shown to retain neutralizing activity against Omicron coronavirus variants, including the highly susceptible BA.2 subvariant. spread, in an independent laboratory study.

Data from the University of Washington study showed that the therapy reduced the amount of virus detected in samples of all the Omicron subspecies tested in the rat lungs, the London-based pharmaceutical manufacturer said. on Monday. The study has yet to be peer-reviewed.

The therapy, Evusheld, has been tested against Omicron’s BA.1, BA.1.1 and BA.2 sub-variables and it has also been shown to limit inflammation in the lungs.

“These findings further support Evusheld as an important option to help protect vulnerable patients such as the immunocompromised, who have could face dire outcomes if they become infected with COVID-19.

The World Health Organization said last week’s figures showing a global rise in COVID-19 cases could herald a much larger problem, as Omicron and BA.2 variants spread amid where restrictions and testing are eased.

The vaccine relies on the intact immune system to develop targeted antibodies and infection-fighting cells, but Evusheld contains lab-made antibodies that are designed to last in the body for months. to stop the virus in case of an infection.

The results come after Britain last week approved a therapy to prevent infection in adults with a poor immune response. Evosheld is currently under review in Europe and has been authorized in the US.

(Reported by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; edited by Sriraj Kalluvila and Aditya Soni)

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