London, November 21: The U.K. is all set to purchase one million doses of AstraZeneca's antibody treatment for COVID-19, provided it succeeds in the phase three trials, Bloomberg reported. The company is to recruit around 5,000 participants all the world to evaluate the effectiveness of the combination called AZD7442 in preventing the infection for up to an year in people who don't have the access to the vaccine or don't respond well to it. COVID-19 Vaccination Update: Pfizer, BioNTech Offer Brazil Coronavirus Vaccination Plan for 2021.
AstraZeneca in a joint statement with the UK government said that the antibodies have the potential to “treat and prevent disease progression in patients already infected with the virus.” The antibody can be taken before exposure to the virus and aids the vaccine's effectiveness. AstraZeneca is playing catch-up as it prepares to report key findings from the vaccine it’s developing with the University of Oxford. India News | UK's Oxford Vaccine Phase-2 Trial Indicates Strong Results in Older Adults, Says Lancet Study.
“As we move closer to a Covid-19 vaccine, we must keep driving forward clinical trials for new and alternative treatments that protect our vulnerable, particularly those who cannot receive a vaccine,” U.K. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said in the statement to Bloomberg.