Astra Zeneca reportedly claims their drug cocktail is "effective" against COVID-19 but experts are actually frustrated the company has not released its complete information on it yet.
The Epoch Times said the European drugmaker is on the phase 3 trial preliminary results of its COVID-19 drug cocktail antibody named AZD7442.
The drug is said to be a combination of long-acting antibody or LAAB that cuts 50% of the risks of dying from or developing a severe case of COVID-19. This is when the drug is "compared to a placebo in people who did not require hospitalization and had been showing symptoms for a week or less." It is more effective if AZD7442 is given within five days the symptoms of the virus has been detected.
Astra Zeneca Executive Vice President Mene Pangalos pointed out in a statement that the "positive results" they discovered on AZD7442 would play an important role against the pandemic.
"These positive results show that a convenient intramuscular dose of AZD7442 could play an important role in helping combat this devastating pandemic," Pangalos said.
According to the statement, Astra Zeneca undertook the phase three trial with 903 participants with 822 of which were analyzed. A placebo was given to half of the participants. However, the statement revealed that the findings are still subject to peer-review by a medical journal and the full results from it will be presented afterwards at an unspecified meeting in the future.
Public Citizen's Health Research Group Director Dr. Michael Carome reacted to Astra Zeneca's announcement and pointed out that it has already become a trend among pharmaceutical comnpanies to release trial results summaries even before the full data is actually available.
"It's unfortunately been a common pathway throughout the pandemic," Carome said during an interview with The Epoch Times.
Carome also said that such trial result summaries released to the public often focus on the positive benefits of the drug but never disclose its risks or effects on the patient or user.
"As so often the case with these press releases, they sort of focus on the potential benefits and downplay or exclude important information about understanding the risk of adverse events. And so, eventually, that information will be submitted to the FDA and will come out but right now we don't have that data," Carome stressed.
A report in July disclosed that coronavirus antibodies were less likely to develop in the elderly population who received the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine as compared to the Pfizer variety. While an Imperial College research showed that those who did develop the antibodies two weeks after completing their vaccination involved 85% of people aged 80 years old.
Similarly last week, Astra Zeneca submitted requirements for its LAAB to the UK drug regulator for preventive or prophylactic use. While the FDA has also received a copy of their new trial data.
The AZD7442 would be added to COVID-19 treatments available once it is approved. Currently, COVID-19 treatments include monoclonal and remdesivir antibodies from Regeneron, Eli Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline.
Meanwhile in June, the World Health Organization directed that the "Astra Zeneca vaccine not be initiated in younger individuals" due to "cases of thromboembolic events with thrombocytopenia after vaccination." The said cases involved "an overall incidence on the order of 10-15 cases per million doses."