UK: AstraZeneca has recently announced that Evusheld (tixagevimab and cilgavimab, formerly AZD7442), a long-acting antibody combination, has been approved in the European Union (EU) for the treatment of adults and adolescents (aged 12 years and older weighing at least 40 kg) with COVID‑19 who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of progressing to severe COVID‑19.
The approval by the European Commission was based on results from the TACKLE Phase III COVID-19 treatment trial which showed one intramuscular (IM) dose of Evusheld provided clinically and statistically significant protection against progression to severe COVID-19 or death from any cause compared to placebo. Evusheld treatment earlier in the disease course led to more favourable outcomes. TACKLE was conducted in non-hospitalised adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who were symptomatic for seven days or less. 90% of trial participants were at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19 due to co-morbidities or age. Evusheld was generally well tolerated in the trial.
Michel Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Institute for Interdisciplinary Innovation in Healthcare, Université Libre de Bruxelles, and former Executive Director of the European Innovative Medicines Initiative, said: “Many people, including those who are immunocompromised, older adults and those with underlying health conditions, are at high risk of severe disease, hospitalisation and death if they become infected. Evusheld, delivered in a convenient intramuscular formulation, is now a much-needed new COVID-19 treatment option for these vulnerable populations.”
Iskra Reic, Executive Vice President, Vaccines and Immune Therapies, AstraZeneca, said: “COVID-19 remains an ongoing health concern for millions of Europeans and around the world, especially for those who may not be well-protected against the virus from vaccination. With this approval, Evusheld is now the only long-acting antibody combination available for both prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in Europe, allowing us to protect even more people from this devastating disease.”
The recommended dose of Evusheld for treatment in Europe is 300mg of tixagevimab and 300mg of cilgavimab, administered as two separate, sequential IM injections.
Evusheld has been shown to retain in vitro neutralisation of Omicron BA.5, which is currently the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in Europe. Real-world evidence generated to date has demonstrated significantly lower rates of symptomatic COVID-19 and/or hospitalisation/death for immunocompromised patients receiving Evusheld compared to control arms. This includes real-world evidence collected while Omicron BA.5, BA.4, BA.2, BA.1 and BA.1.1 were circulating.
Evusheld was granted marketing authorisation in the EU for pre-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) of COVID-19 in a broad population of adults and adolescents earlier this year and is already available in a majority of countries in Europe.
Read also: AstraZeneca Evusheld recommended for approval in EU for treatment of COVID-19
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
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Ruchika joined Medical Dialogue as an Desk Editor for the Business Section in 2019. She covers all the updates in the Pharmaceutical field, Policy, Insurance, Business Healthcare, Medical News, Health News, Pharma News, Healthcare and Investment. She has completed her B.Com from Delhi University and then pursued postgraduation in M.Com. She can be contacted at [email protected] Contact no. 011-43720751
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