Europe's drug regulator said on Tuesday (Mar 15) it had begun reviewing AstraZeneca Plc's application for antibody-based COVID-19 therapy, a key step towards approval of the treatment in the region, but gave no timeline for a conclusion.
Infections from COVID-19 are still rising in parts of the world including Europe. China posted a steep jump in daily COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, with new cases more than doubling from a day earlier to hit a two-year high.
AstraZeneca's antibody cocktail, Evusheld, has already been authorised in the United States to prevent COVID-19 infections in individuals with weak immune systems or a history of severe side effects from coronavirus vaccines.
The decision by the human medicines committee of the European Medicines Agency comes after it began reviewing data on the drug in October.
The COVID-19 therapy has been shown to save lives and prevent disease progression in patient when administered within a week of first symptoms, and also prevent infection among people.
There are some COVID-19 therapies based on the same class of medicine as AstraZeneca's Evusheld, called monoclonal antibodies, that aim to treat rather than prevent the illness.