A Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said data from a late-stage clinical trial suggests that his antibody cocktail therapy for Covid-19 significantly reduces virus levels and the need for more medical care.
The results provide another positive sign in the race to find treatments for coronavirus. Outpatients who received therapy were 57% less likely to need medical care later, and 2.8% of those who received the antibody and 6.5% of those who received placebo were seen by a health professional within 29 days.
The Tarrytown-based company, Nova York, shared the results with regulators of the USA, who currently evaluate the antibody cocktail for an emergency use authorization for high-risk patients with mild to moderate Covid cases.
Regeneron therapy was administered to the President of the USA, Donald Trump, at the beginning of the month, after he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Because the therapy has shown similar benefits with high and low doses, Regeneron assesses a change in dosage used in other ongoing outpatient studies. A lower dose can help to extend the limited available stock of the drug.
The treatment appears to be the most effective for people at higher risk, such as elderly patients and other health problems, such as obesity, heart, lung, liver or kidney disease, the company said.
Patients who had higher viral levels, or who produced lower levels of antibodies, were more likely to respond to treatment.
“We continue to see stronger effects in patients who are at greater risk of poor results due to the high viral load,” said the company’s scientific director, George Yancopoulos.
Regeneron’s treatment, called REGN-COV2, consists of two monoclonal antibodies against the so-called coronavirus spike protein. It is considered one of the most promising possible treatments for the coronavirus under study.
Preliminary results of a clinical trial launched by Regeneron in September showed that the drug can help treat patients with out-of-hospital coronaviruses by reducing virus levels and symptoms, the company said.
Other companies that test antibody treatments include Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline with partner Vir Biotechnology.