AstraZeneca's Evusheld, a long-acting antibody combination, has been granted authorisation in the EU for the pre-exposure prevention of COVID-19 in adults and adolescents aged 12 older weighing at least 40 kg. The recommended dose of in Europe is 150mg of tixagevimab and 150mg of cilgavimab, administered as separate sequential intramuscular (IM) injections.
The approval by the European Commission was based on results from a clinical development programme, including data from a Phase III pre-exposure prophylaxis trial which showed a 77% reduction in the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 compared to placebo at the primary analysis and an 83% reduction at a six-month median analysis, with protection from the virus lasting at least six months.
There is also a growing body of evidence from multiple independent in vitro and in vivo (animal model) studies, the company says, supporting the treatment’s potential to protect against the BA.1, BA.1.1 and BA.2 Omicron SARS-CoV-2 subvariants in circulation around the world.
Christoph D. Spinner, MD, Consulting Physician Infectious Diseases and Pandemic Officer at the University Hospital Rechts der Isar and adjunct teaching professor at the Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany, said: “Increasing COVID-19 cases, driven by the highly-transmissible BA.2 subvariant, and withdrawal of several pandemic public health measures make it important to protect vulnerable populations, such as the immunocompromised, from SARS-CoV-2 infection. The authorisation of Evusheld for a broad population will allow health authorities in the EU to identify the populations who are most at-risk and need additional protection.”
Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “The EU approval represents an important milestone in our efforts to help prevent COVID-19, and we will continue to work with governments across Europe to make Evusheld available as quickly as possible. Evusheld has the potential to provide long-lasting protection against COVID-19 for a broad population of individuals, including those who aren’t adequately protected by a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as those at increased risk of exposure.”