UK halts buying AstraZeneca COVID drug Evusheld on efficacy concerns versus Omicron

Aug. 16, 2022 6:28 AM ETAstraZeneca PLC (AZN)By: Ravikash, SA News Editor

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  • The U.K. has halted procurement of AstraZeneca's (NASDAQ:AZN) COVID-19 therapy Evusheld citing "insufficient data" on the duration of protection the drug provides against Omicron and subvariants, The BMJ reported.
  • The U.K. government's decision was based on independent clinical advice from Rapid C-19—a multi-agency collaboration that includes NHS England, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), National Institute for Health Research, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), among others — the report added.
  • Evusheld was approved by the MHRA in March to prevent COVID-19 in people whose immune response is poor.
  • Government officials will meet with AstraZeneca again to establish if any real-world data has come out recently from other countries which the expert panel could consider.
  • "Following a robust review of the available data, our clinical experts advise there is currently insufficient data on the duration of protection offered by Evusheld in relation to the Omicron variant and the government will not be procuring any doses at this time," said a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care.

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