Regeneron kicks off prevention trial for COVID-19 antibody cocktail

Marco Green
July 6, 2020

The trials will assess virologic and clinical endpoints.

Just days after it pulled the plug on its rheumatoid arthritis drug to treat COVID-19, biotech company Regeneron said on Monday it is starting Phase 3 of its double-antibody treatment for the novel coronavirus.

To be conducted with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the trial aims to enroll 2,000 patients through about 100 sites in the U.S. It will study whether the cocktail, dubbed REGN-COV2, can prevent infections in uninfected people who have come into close contact with COVID-19 patients, including the housemates of patients.

At the same time, Regeneron announced it was moving to the final stages of a trial to determine the drug cocktail's ability to treat both hospitalized and non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The late-stage trial, to be conducted across 100 sites and expected to enroll 2,000 patients in the USA, begins after an assessment of the antibody cocktail's safety in an early-stage trial by an independent committee.

Antibodies are proteins made by the body's immune system that recognize, bind and neutralize an invading virus.

This will involve around 1,850 hospitalized and 1,050 non-hospitalized patients in the US, Brazil, Mexico and Chile, with preliminary data expected later this summer.

In this case, Regeneron's scientists picked two antibodies, scaled them up and put them into a medicine that it hopes can be used to treat symptoms and possibly even work as protection for vulnerable communities such as the elderly or health care workers.

Last month, Regeneron started two adaptive phase 1/2/3 studies to test the antibody cocktail as a treatment for hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.

Regeneron is among the few front-runners who have begun human trials testing their experimental therapies to fight COVID-19, including Gilead Sciences, Eli Lilly and AbbVie. There are a handful of other companies working on additional antibody therapies.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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