AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Antibody Therapy Receives FDA Authorization

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology company AstraZeneca plc (AZN) recently revealed that its long-acting antibody (LAAB) combination, EVUSHELD, has received emergency use authorization (EUA) in the U.S. from The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of COVID-19.

Following the news, shares of the company rose marginally to close at $55.24 in the extended trading session on Wednesday.

Strategic Impact

EVUSHELD is a combination of two long-acting monoclonal antibodies and is the only antibody therapy authorized in the U.S. for COVID-19 prevention, and the only COVID-19 antibody delivered as an intramuscular dose.

The antibody has been granted EUA for the prevention of COVID-19 in adults and adolescents (aged 12 and older, who weigh 40kg or more) with moderate to severe immune compromise due to a medical condition or immunosuppressive medications and who may not mount an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination as well as those individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended. Recipients should not be currently infected with or had recent known exposure to a person infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Management Commentary

The Executive Vice-President of BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, Mene Pangalos, said, “We are proud to play a leading role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and, with EVUSHELD, we now have the first antibody therapy authorized in the US to prevent COVID-19 symptoms before virus exposure, while also providing long lasting protection with a single dose. EVUSHELD neutralizes all previous SARS-CoV-2 variants to date, and we are working quickly to establish its efficacy against the new Omicron variant.”

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Price Target

Recently, Leerink Partners analyst Andrew Berens reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $73, which implies upside potential of 32.4% from current levels.

The Street is cautiously optimistic about the stock and has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 2 Buys and 1 Hold. The average AstraZeneca price target of $73 implies that the stock has upside potential of 32.4% from current levels.

Smart Score

AstraZeneca scores an 8 out of 10 from TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that the stock has strong potential to outperform market expectations. Shares have gained about 2% over the past year.

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