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      Intramuscular AZD7442 (Tixagevimab–Cilgavimab) for Prevention of Covid-19

      research-article
      , M.D., , M.D., Ph.D., , M.D., , M.D., Ph.D., , M.P.H., , Ph.D., , Ph.D., , Ph.D., , M.D., , M.D., , M.B., Ch.B., , Ph.D., , Ph.D., , M.Sc., , M.D., , Ph.D., , Ph.D., F.R.C.P., , M.D., , Pharm.D., , Ph.D., , R.N., Ph.D., , Ph.D., , D.Sc., Ph.D., , Ph.D. *
      The New England Journal of Medicine
      Massachusetts Medical Society
      Keyword part (code): 18Keyword part (keyword): Infectious DiseaseKeyword part (code): 18_1Keyword part (keyword): Infectious Disease GeneralKeyword part (code): 18_6Keyword part (keyword): Viral InfectionsKeyword part (code): 18_9Keyword part (keyword): Global HealthKeyword part (code): 18_12Keyword part (keyword): Coronavirus , 18, Infectious Disease, Keyword part (code): 18_1Keyword part (keyword): Infectious Disease GeneralKeyword part (code): 18_6Keyword part (keyword): Viral InfectionsKeyword part (code): 18_9Keyword part (keyword): Global HealthKeyword part (code): 18_12Keyword part (keyword): Coronavirus , 18_1, Infectious Disease General, 18_6, Viral Infections, 18_9, Global Health, 18_12, Coronavirus

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          Abstract

          Background

          The monoclonal-antibody combination AZD7442 is composed of tixagevimab and cilgavimab, two neutralizing antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that have an extended half-life and have been shown to have prophylactic and therapeutic effects in animal models. Pharmacokinetic data in humans indicate that AZD7442 has an extended half-life of approximately 90 days.

          Methods

          In an ongoing phase 3 trial, we enrolled adults (≥18 years of age) who had an increased risk of an inadequate response to vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), an increased risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, or both. Participants were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive a single dose (two consecutive intramuscular injections, one containing tixagevimab and the other containing cilgavimab) of either 300 mg of AZD7442 or saline placebo, and they were followed for up to 183 days in the primary analysis. The primary safety end point was the incidence of adverse events after a single dose of AZD7442. The primary efficacy end point was symptomatic Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by means of reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction assay) occurring after administration of AZD7442 or placebo and on or before day 183.

          Results

          A total of 5197 participants underwent randomization and received one dose of AZD7442 or placebo (3460 in the AZD7442 group and 1737 in the placebo group). The primary analysis was conducted after 30% of the participants had become aware of their randomized assignment. In total, 1221 of 3461 participants (35.3%) in the AZD7442 group and 593 of 1736 participants (34.2%) in the placebo group reported having at least one adverse event, most of which were mild or moderate in severity. Symptomatic Covid-19 occurred in 8 of 3441 participants (0.2%) in the AZD7442 group and in 17 of 1731 participants (1.0%) in the placebo group (relative risk reduction, 76.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 46.0 to 90.0; P<0.001); extended follow-up at a median of 6 months showed a relative risk reduction of 82.8% (95% CI, 65.8 to 91.4). Five cases of severe or critical Covid-19 and two Covid-19–related deaths occurred, all in the placebo group.

          Conclusions

          A single dose of AZD7442 had efficacy for the prevention of Covid-19, without evident safety concerns. (Funded by AstraZeneca and the U.S. government; PROVENT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04625725.)

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          Most cited references31

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          A modified poisson regression approach to prospective studies with binary data.

          G Zou (2004)
          Relative risk is usually the parameter of interest in epidemiologic and medical studies. In this paper, the author proposes a modified Poisson regression approach (i.e., Poisson regression with a robust error variance) to estimate this effect measure directly. A simple 2-by-2 table is used to justify the validity of this approach. Results from a limited simulation study indicate that this approach is very reliable even with total sample sizes as small as 100. The method is illustrated with two data sets.
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            Impact and effectiveness of mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations, and deaths following a nationwide vaccination campaign in Israel: an observational study using national surveillance data

            Background Following the emergency use authorisation of the Pfizer–BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 (international non-proprietary name tozinameran) in Israel, the Ministry of Health (MoH) launched a campaign to immunise the 6·5 million residents of Israel aged 16 years and older. We estimated the real-world effectiveness of two doses of BNT162b2 against a range of SARS-CoV-2 outcomes and to evaluate the nationwide public-health impact following the widespread introduction of the vaccine. Methods We used national surveillance data from the first 4 months of the nationwide vaccination campaign to ascertain incident cases of laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and outcomes, as well as vaccine uptake in residents of Israel aged 16 years and older. Vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 outcomes (asymptomatic infection, symptomatic infection, and COVID-19-related hospitalisation, severe or critical hospitalisation, and death) was calculated on the basis of incidence rates in fully vaccinated individuals (defined as those for whom 7 days had passed since receiving the second dose of vaccine) compared with rates in unvaccinated individuals (who had not received any doses of the vaccine), with use of a negative binomial regression model adjusted for age group (16–24, 25–34, 35–44, 45–54, 55–64, 65–74, 75–84, and ≥85 years), sex, and calendar week. The proportion of spike gene target failures on PCR test among a nationwide convenience-sample of SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens was used to estimate the prevelance of the B.1.1.7 variant. Findings During the analysis period (Jan 24 to April 3, 2021), there were 232 268 SARS-CoV-2 infections, 7694 COVID-19 hospitalisations, 4481 severe or critical COVID-19 hospitalisations, and 1113 COVID-19 deaths in people aged 16 years or older. By April 3, 2021, 4 714 932 (72·1%) of 6 538 911 people aged 16 years and older were fully vaccinated with two doses of BNT162b2. Adjusted estimates of vaccine effectiveness at 7 days or longer after the second dose were 95·3% (95% CI 94·9–95·7; incidence rate 91·5 per 100 000 person-days in unvaccinated vs 3·1 per 100 000 person-days in fully vaccinated individuals) against SARS-CoV-2 infection, 91·5% (90·7–92·2; 40·9 vs 1·8 per 100 000 person-days) against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, 97·0% (96·7–97·2; 32·5 vs 0·8 per 100 000 person-days) against symptomatic COVID-19, 97·2% (96·8–97·5; 4·6 vs 0·3 per 100 000 person-days) against COVID-19-related hospitalisation, 97·5% (97·1–97·8; 2·7 vs 0·2 per 100 000 person-days) against severe or critical COVID-19-related hospitalisation, and 96·7% (96·0–97·3; 0·6 vs 0·1 per 100 000 person-days) against COVID-19-related death. In all age groups, as vaccine coverage increased, the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 outcomes declined. 8006 of 8472 samples tested showed a spike gene target failure, giving an estimated prevalence of the B.1.1.7 variant of 94·5% among SARS-CoV-2 infections. Interpretation Two doses of BNT162b2 are highly effective across all age groups (≥16 years, including older adults aged ≥85 years) in preventing symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-related hospitalisations, severe disease, and death, including those caused by the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant. There were marked and sustained declines in SARS-CoV-2 incidence corresponding to increasing vaccine coverage. These findings suggest that COVID-19 vaccination can help to control the pandemic. Funding None.
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              Covid-19 Breakthrough Infections in Vaccinated Health Care Workers

              Background Despite the high efficacy of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), rare breakthrough infections have been reported, including infections among health care workers. Data are needed to characterize these infections and define correlates of breakthrough and infectivity. Methods At the largest medical center in Israel, we identified breakthrough infections by performing extensive evaluations of health care workers who were symptomatic (including mild symptoms) or had known infection exposure. These evaluations included epidemiologic investigations, repeat reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assays, antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic testing (Ag-RDT), serologic assays, and genomic sequencing. Correlates of breakthrough infection were assessed in a case–control analysis. We matched patients with breakthrough infection who had antibody titers obtained within a week before SARS-CoV-2 detection (peri-infection period) with four to five uninfected controls and used generalized estimating equations to predict the geometric mean titers among cases and controls and the ratio between the titers in the two groups. We also assessed the correlation between neutralizing antibody titers and N gene cycle threshold (Ct) values with respect to infectivity. Results Among 1497 fully vaccinated health care workers for whom RT-PCR data were available, 39 SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections were documented. Neutralizing antibody titers in case patients during the peri-infection period were lower than those in matched uninfected controls (case-to-control ratio, 0.361; 95% confidence interval, 0.165 to 0.787). Higher peri-infection neutralizing antibody titers were associated with lower infectivity (higher Ct values). Most breakthrough cases were mild or asymptomatic, although 19% had persistent symptoms (>6 weeks). The B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant was found in 85% of samples tested. A total of 74% of case patients had a high viral load (Ct value, <30) at some point during their infection; however, of these patients, only 17 (59%) had a positive result on concurrent Ag-RDT. No secondary infections were documented. Conclusions Among fully vaccinated health care workers, the occurrence of breakthrough infections with SARS-CoV-2 was correlated with neutralizing antibody titers during the peri-infection period. Most breakthrough infections were mild or asymptomatic, although persistent symptoms did occur.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                N Engl J Med
                N Engl J Med
                nejm
                The New England Journal of Medicine
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                20 April 2022
                20 April 2022
                : NEJMoa2116620
                Affiliations
                From the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora (M.J.L.); North Manchester General Hospital, Manchester (A.U.), Biometrics (A.T., S.S.) and Clinical Development (R.B., G.C.K.W.K.), Vaccines and Immune Therapies, Biopharmaceuticals Research and Development (M.N.P.), AstraZeneca, Cambridge, and Mounts Bay Medical, Penzance (A.E.) — all in the United Kingdom; the Division of Infectious Diseases, Saint-Pierre University Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels (S.D.W.); Université de Paris, INSERM French Clinical Research Infrastructure Network, Innovative Clinical Research Network in Vaccinology, Assistance Publique–Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris (O.L.); Chicago Clinical Research Institute, Chicago (D.J.L.); Clinical Development, Late-Stage Development, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism, BioPharmaceuticals Research and Development, AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden (P.A.); Clinical Pharmacology and Quantitative Pharmacology (R.H.A.), Clinical Development (K.D., P.G., K.A.N., K.P.), Biometrics (M.A., Y.Y.), Translational Medicine (E.J.K., K.S.), and Vaccines and Immune Therapies (M.T.E.), Biopharmaceuticals Research and Development, AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, MD; and Clinical Development, Vaccines and Immune Therapies, Biopharmaceuticals Research and Development, AstraZeneca, Durham, NC (K.W.P., A.S.).
                Author notes
                Dr. Esser can be contacted at mark.esser@ 123456astrazeneca.com or at Vaccines and Immune Therapies, BioPharmaceuticals Research and Development, AstraZeneca, 1 MedImmune Way, Gaithersburg, MD 20878-2204.
                [*]

                A list of the PROVENT Study Group members is provided in the Supplementary Appendix, available at NEJM.org.

                Article
                NJ202204203862303
                10.1056/NEJMoa2116620
                9069994
                35443106
                775fcd57-dffc-4c58-b695-55ba0d7f03bb
                Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use, except commercial resale, and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgment of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic or until revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, subject to existing copyright protections.

                History
                Funding
                Funded by: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000016;
                Award ID: W911QY-21-9-0001
                Funded by: U.S. Department of Defense, FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000005;
                Award ID: W911QY-21-9-0001
                Funded by: AstraZeneca, FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100004325;
                Categories
                Original Article
                Custom metadata
                2022-04-20T17:00:00-04:00
                2022
                04
                20
                17
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