Regeneron COVID19 Drug REGN-COV2 Enters
Final Stage Trials of Human Trials
The American biotechnology company, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has been investigating a drug to both treat and prevent COVID-19 infection, and on Monday, the firm announced that the drug, named REGN-COV2, was entering the last stages of its human clinical trials.
The drug can block the coronavirus’ “spike protein” which it uses to invade human cells as it is a combination of two antibodies.
Among the people who were recently exposed to the virus—for example through a person in their household, in order to determine if its drug can prevent infection, the company is moving to the final Phase 3 stage of a trial, which runs jointly with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the US. Around 2,000 patients in the US are expected to be involved in this trial.
George Yancopoulos, Regeneron President said, “In our quest to prevent the virus spread with an antiviral antibody cocktail that could be available much sooner than a vaccine, we are pleased to collaborate with NIAID to study REGN-COV2.”
Simultaneously, to treat both hospitalized and non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients, determining the drug cocktail’s ability on them, Regeneron announced it was moving to the final stages of a trial.
Around 1,050 non-hospitalized and 1,850 hospitalized in the US, Brazil, Mexico, and Chile, will be involved in the trial and preliminary data is expected later.
Regeneron scientists identified the two particular antibodies to be most potent against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, while not competing against each other after evaluating thousands of antibodies harvested from genetically modified mice and from humans.
To decrease the chances that the virus will mutate for evading the blocking action of a single antibody, the company uses a multi-antibody strategy, an approach that is detailed in a recent study in Science.
Previously, an antibody was shown to be effective against the Ebola virus, a triple antibody cocktail was developed by Regeneron.
Regeneron COVID19 Drug REGN-COV2