Decentralised research organisation (DRO) Care Access Research has collaborated with AstraZeneca to speed up the Phase III STORM CHASER clinical trial in the US assessing the latter’s long-acting monoclonal antibody (LAAB) combination, AZD7442, for preventing Covid-19.

Care Access is supporting the trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of AZD7442 for post-exposure prophylaxis and pre-emptive treatment in around 1,125 subjects in the US and the UK.

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The organisation will provide decentralised, mobile research site operations for AstraZeneca’s trial in the US.

Adult participants who were exposed to SARS-COV-2 and are at the risk of developing Covid-19 will be part of the study.

The trial will have individuals living or working at long-term care facilities, industrial and military settings.

AstraZeneca Microbial Sciences BioPharmaceuticals R&D vice-president Mark Esser said: “We are excited to collaborate with Care Access and leverage their unique decentralised, mobile model for this important Phase III trial for AZD7442 in the US.

“AZD7442 has the potential to be an important preventative and therapeutic medicine against Covid-19.”

In a separate development, clinical-stage biotechnology company Vaxart has reported additional results from its SARS-CoV-2 Hamster Challenge Study on oral Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

The vaccine candidate is designed to express the SARS-CoV-2 S protein as well as the nucleocapsid (N) protein.

According to the latest histology data from the study, hamsters given two doses of the oral tablet vaccine showed a substantial reduction in lung inflammation versus those not receiving the vaccine.

Vaxart CEO Andrei Floroiu said: “Our oral vaccine could help fight the Covid-19 epidemic globally because it is stable at room temperature making it easier to transport, store, and administer than injectables. It may also appeal to those uncomfortable with injections.”

Last October, Vaxart started dosing participants in a Phase I clinical trial of oral tablet Covid-19 vaccine candidate, VXA-CoV2-1.