The US government is investing nearly half a billion dollars in the development and large-scale distribution of a COVID-19 treatment from the British laboratory AstraZeneca, in late clinical trials, has the pharmaceutical giant announced in a statement Monday.

AstraZeneca has said its combination of long-acting antibodies for the prevention of Covid-19 will move to two phase III clinical trials.

More than 6,000 participants in the United States and outside the United States are expected to begin trials in the coming weeks, the drug maker said.

The pharmaceutical group, which is developing in parallel with the University of Oxford a “vaccine candidate”, considered one of the most promising, announced at the end of August that it had launched phase 1 trials on its drug AZD7442, already funded to the tune of $ 25 million USD by the US government.

The drug AZD7442 is a combination of two long-lasting antibodies derived from convalescent Corona Virus patients, discovered by Vanderbilt University US Medical Center and licensed by AstraZeneca in June.

The antibodies – which were developed using AstraZeneca’s proprietary technology – were designed to increase the durability of therapy for 6 to 12 months after a single administration.

The combination is also designed to low the risk of resistance developed by the coronavirus.

In its statement, AstraZeneca said it had received approximately $ 486 million in support from the US government for the development and supply of the drug.

As part of the deal, the biopharmaceutical company plans to deliver up to 100,000 doses from the end of 2020, with the US government having an option to purchase up to one million additional doses in 2021.