Oxford scientists working on COVID-19 vaccine ‘near breakthrough’ on antibody treatment

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British scientists thought to be leading the global race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine are reportedly also close to a major breakthrough on a life-saving antibody treatment.

The Oxford University team have been confident about their work on a vaccine for coronavirus, with millions of doses already being manufactured by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in the expectation that it will work.

And there is now similar confidence that a separate project to create an antibody treatment for those especially vulnerable to COVID-19 will also prove successful, with testing now said to be moving at “full speed”.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, has described the treatment as a “combination of two antibodies” in an injected dose, reducing the chance that someone would develop resistance to one of them.

He told The Sunday Telegraph that the treatment could be vital for the elderly and vulnerable, “who may not be able to develop a good response to the vaccine”.

Healthy people can develop antibodies to a disease to fight off the infection and protect them from it in future, and coronavirus antibody testing has become a key priority for governments around the world.



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