Biopharmaceutical company Regeneron has started clinical testing of the antibody cocktail for the prevention and treatment of the CCP virus and the drug could be available for emergency use in a few months.
“We are particularly excited to begin studies of REGN-COV2, which is a novel antibody cocktail targeted specifically against SARS-CoV-2,” said trial investigator Dr. Suraj Saggar in a statement.
Regeneron said its core technologies produce protective anti-viral antibodies in clinical systems outside the body and these antibodies can be given to a person through injections.
This provides passive immunity and prevents disease immediately, though it must be re-administered for it to continue to be effective over time.
— Regeneron (@Regeneron) June 11, 2020
The company, which had earlier developed a similar antibody treatment for Ebola, said the world needs multiple solutions for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, noting that the antibody cocktail approach may be especially useful for the elderly and immunocompromised patients, who respond less to vaccines.
“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,” said George D. Yancopoulos, president and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron.
The REGN-COV2, once ready, could slow the spread of the CCP virus and treat those who are already sick. It “could be available much sooner than a vaccine,” said Regeneron.
In a separate statement on Thursday, the company announced that a science magazine will soon publish its research findings.
“Our work inventing novel antibodies has shown that individual antibodies, no matter how good, are likely not enough against the devastating virus that causes COVID-19 and the ways it seeks to ‘escape’ being neutralized,” said Yancopoulos.
Drug cocktails as prevention for viral escapes have been earlier demonstrated in the treatment of HIV and other viruses.
“We previously used the same technologies and cocktail approach to develop REGN-EB3, a novel triple antibody treatment for Ebola that demonstrated safety and efficacy versus the standard of care in a clinical trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Christos Kyratsous, vice president of Research, Infectious Diseases and Viral Vector Technologies at Regeneron.
Kyratsous said he expects to see similar results with the CCP virus.