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Switzerland's Roche reports promising results from anti-Covid cocktail

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AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Switzerland's Roche reports promising results from anti-Covid cocktail
(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 01, 2012 shows the logo of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche in Basel. - Swiss pharma giant Roche said on March 15, 2021, it would pay $1.8 billion (1.5 billion euros) to buy US firm GenMark Diagnostics and thus broaden its rapid test portfolio, including for Covid-19. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)

Swiss pharma giant Roche announced Tuesday "positive" results from clinical trials of an anti-Covid cocktail developed with US biotech firm Regeneron.

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The results of the Phase 3 trial, "shows investigational antibody cocktail casirivimab and imdevimab reduced hospitalisation or death by 70 percent in non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19," it said in a statement.

The cocktail also "significantly shortened the duration of symptoms by four days."

Roche said the tests were carried out on people believed to be at higher risk of contracting a severe Covid-19 infection, typically the elderly and those with underlying serious health conditions.

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Several pharmaceutical companies have been developing antibody treatments which prevent the virus from replicating in the body, in the hope of finding an effective treatment to go alongside vaccines to combat emerging variants.

Roche noted that the treatment is the only monoclonal antibody combination which remains effective when confronted with the major variants, some of which are more infectious and cause more serious illness.

Levi Garraway, Roche's chief medical officer and head of global product development, said "new infections continue to rise globally with over three million reported cases last week.

"This investigational antibody cocktail may offer hope as a potential new therapy to high-risk patients - particularly in light of recent evidence showing that casirivimab and imdevimab together retain activity against key emerging variants," Garraway said in a statement.

The results will now be passed on to regulators and submitted for peer review.

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