In previous trials, the new antibody treatment has not proved effective in people exposed to the virus, but more recent results show that by administering the drug before contact with the virus, the results are encouraging. In a statement, AstraZeneca explains that in these cases the risk of developing a symptomatic form of the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is reduced by 77 percent, with no records of serious cases or death.

The results are already from phase 3 of the clinical trials, designed to assess the safety and efficacy of the treatment, which are carried out in Spain, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the United States and involved 5,197 participants, 75 percent of whom had comorbidities. "With these formidable results, AZD7442 (treatment code name) could be an important tool in our arsenal to help people who could benefit from more than one vaccine to regain a normal life," said a trial leader and professor. University of Colorado in the United States, Myron Levin, quoted in a statement.

In the same sense, AstraZeneca emphasizes the relevance of the treatment, which is administered intramuscularly as a complementary protection to vaccines. "We need other approaches for people who are not well protected by covid-19 vaccines," said Mene Pangalos, a senior pharmacist, who said additional data on the trials would be released later this year.

AstraZeneca also adds that it will send a dossier to the health authorities, in order to obtain authorization for emergency use or validation under certain conditions of treatment, the development of which is being financed by the US government. AstraZeneca's dual-dose vaccine is one of four currently being administered in the European Union, in addition to Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, and Janssen's single-dose vaccine.

Covid-19 has caused at least 4,401,486 deaths worldwide, among more than
209.9 million infections by the new coronavirus registered since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the latest report by the Agence France-Presse.