For the third time in about a month, another major pharmaceutical competitor has released a new COVID cure - in this case, it was Regeneron's long-awaited COVID antibody cocktail - which purportedly cut infection risk by 81.6% (not quite as much as Pfizer's pill, but more than Merck's pill)
Another Regeneron antibody product has been in the works for a long time and was memorably used on an experimental basis when President Trump was sickened with the virus and brought to Walter Reed for treatment. At the time, some scientists slammed the use of the Regeneron drug. But a lot more research has been conducted over the last year.
BREAKING: Trump is now being given remdesivir (@GileadSciences). It’s shown to reduce illness duration but not (yet) shown to significantly lower mortality so far. At least better than the sketchy use of the no-evidence @Regeneron multi-monoclonal antibody earlier. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/0ezaG8tPBV— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) October 3, 2020
A lot has changed since then: Phase 3 trial data released by the company showed that a single dose of regeneron could reduce risk by 81.6% during the pre-specified follow-up period (2-8), maintaining the 81.4% risk reduction previously reported during the first month of follow-up.
During the 8-month assessment period there were 0 hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the REGEN-COV group and 6 in the placebo group. The fully human antibodies in REGEN-COV were developed to provide long-lasting protective effects without any artificial mutations or sequences.
Additionally, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, announced additional positive results from a Phase 3 trial jointly run with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which assessed using a single dose of investigational (1,200 mg administered via 4 subcutaneous injections)per patient. The intention was to prevent COVID in uninfected individuals. The new analyses show REGEN-COV reduced the risk of contracting COVID-19 (i.e., laboratory-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections) by 81.6% during the pre-specified follow-up period (months 2-8), maintaining the 81.4% risk reduction during the first month after administration, first reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
One chief scientist said Regeneron can help protect people from COVID for "many months" after investigation.
"Today's new data demonstrate how a single dose of REGEN-COV can help protect people from COVID-19 for many months after administration," said Myron S. Cohen, M.D., who leads the monoclonal antibody efforts for the NIH-sponsored COVID Prevention Network (CoVPN) and is Director of the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "These results demonstrate that REGEN-COV has the potential to provide long-lasting immunity from SARS-CoV-2 infection, a result particularly important to those who do not respond to COVID-19 vaccines including people who are immunocompromised."
The trial met its primary endpoint, reducing a patient's risk of COVID (i.e., laboratory-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections) by 81.4% within 1 month of receiving REGEN-COV (p<0.0001). The new results released Monday describe a pre-specified analysis for the following 7 months, throughout which an additional 45 symptomatic infections occurred. During this time period, REGEN-COV continued to prevent infection, without requiring additional doses.