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Astra Antibody Trials Show Promising Signs Against Variants

  • Lab tests show antibody cocktail beats mutations, company says
  • Data expected early summer as vaccines slow trial enrollment
Vials of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

Vials of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images 

AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 antibody cocktail has proved effective against variants of the virus in early testing, a potentially key development for vulnerable populations unable to receive vaccines.

The combination of monoclonal antibodies taken from Covid-19 convalescent patients held up against new strains first identified in the U.K. and South Africa in extensive laboratory testing, Mark Esser, Astra’s head of microbial sciences, said in an interview. The news is particularly helpful as the company grapples with slower trial recruitment in light of the success of vaccines.