AstraZeneca has secured a $486M contract from the departments of Health and Human Services and Defense to further develop and test a pair of monoclonal antibodies as potential COVID-19 treatment.
HHS said Friday the company will use the funds to conduct large-scale production and Phase 3 trials of the experimental AZD7442 combo drug to help prevent or treat SARS-CoV-2 infections.
The biopharmaceutical firm licensed the two antibodies from Vanderbilt University and extended the compounds' duration of action using a proprietary technology.
According to HHS, the antiviral cocktail is intended to neutralize the novel coronavirus and reduce its ability to infect cells in the human body.
The federal government plans to widely distribute AZD7442 if the product receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration as part of Operation Warp Speed.