Regeneron says antibody ‘cocktail’ helps COVID-19 patients recover quickly
An experimental antibody “cocktail” developed by biotech firm Regeneron appears to help coronavirus patients recover more quickly.
The company on Tuesday released early data from a clinical trial showing the drug helped people infected with COVID-19 shake their symptoms faster and reduced the amount of the virus in their bodies.
People who had not mounted their own immune response to the virus appeared to benefit most from the drug known as REGN-COV2, suggesting the treatment could be an effective “therapeutic substitute,” said Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, Regeneron’s president and chief scientific officer.
“We are highly encouraged by the robust and consistent nature of these initial data, as well as the emerging well-tolerated safety profile, and we have begun discussing our findings with regulatory authorities while continuing our ongoing trials,” Yancopoulos said in a statement.
The news sent Regeneron’s stock price up about 3.5 percent in premarket trading Wednesday to $594.00 as of 7:01 a.m.
Regeneron said it has enrolled more than 2,000 people in its development program for the drug, but the early results only covered the first 275 patients to participate in the clinical trial, none of whom were hospitalized.
The research nevertheless showed encouraging signs that the treatment works. Patients without their own coronavirus antibodies saw their symptoms become mild or absent in a median of six days after receiving a low dose of REGN-COV2, compared with 13 days for those who took a placebo, Regeneron said.
Similarly, only 4.9 percent of such low-dose patients required additional medical visits, compared with 7.7 percent of those who received a high dose of the drug and 15.2 percent of the placebo patients, according to the company.
Regeneron is one of several drugmakers working on potential treatments for the deadly COVID-19 virus. Eli Lilly & Co. is also developing antibody therapies, and the feds have approved Gilead Sciences’ drug remdesivir for emergency use.
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