Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) announced on Thursday that it kick-started REGN-COV2 clinical trials, aiming to test the antibody combination’s ability to prevent COVID-19.
The announcement, which was made on June 11, marks the commencement of the clinical trial program through which Regeneron aims to tap into REGN-COV2’s potential as a coronavirus vaccine. The clinical study will consist of four different cohorts. This includes symptomatic coronavirus patients that have not been hospitalized, hospitalized patients, uninfected individuals at a high risk of contracting the disease, and uninfected people of varying exposure.
“We have created a unique anti-viral antibody cocktail with the potential both to prevent and treat infection, and also to preempt viral ‘escape,’ a critical precaution in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic,” stated Regeneron’s Chief Scientific Officer, George D. Yancopoulos.
The CSO also noted that the drug combo has the potential for a significant public health impact if it proves to be a success in the clinical trials. If successful, it will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus to healthy individuals while also providing relief to those that have already contracted the virus. He also added that REGN-COV2 also has potential for long-term use, especially in the elderly, and patients who have weakened immunity, especially those that do not respond well to vaccines.
Regeneron publishes two REGN-COV2 papers with Science magazine
Regeneron also announced that two of its papers relating to the REGN-COV2 drug combination have been accepted for publication by Science magazine. The company announced on the same day that it announced the commencement of the clinical trial involving REGN-COV2.
Yancopoulos pointed out that during the company’s many years of developing novel antibodies, they realized that sometimes individual antibodies may not enough to combat viruses like COVID-19. He also noted that scientific research has demonstrated in the past that some drug combinations are more effective in combatting some viruses that are hard to kill.
The first publication is titled “High-Throughput Effort Using Both Humanized Mice and Convalescent Humans Yields SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Cocktail.” The second paper is titled “Antibody Cocktail to SARS-Cov-2 Spike Protein Prevents Rapid Mutational Escape Seen with Individual Antibodies,”