With so much attention paid to the numbers of people receiving Covid-19 vaccines, stories about the efficacy of treatments for patients have sometimes slipped under the radar. But it is important to observe that there is progress in this area, and that an antibody cocktail prepared by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Roche has been credited with reducing by one-fifth the 28-day mortality of people who have been admitted to the hospital with the virus but whose own immune system has failed to respond effectively. Those patients are called “seronegative.”
Regeneron is a biotech company based in Tarrytown, New York listed on Nasdaq. Roche is a pharmaceutical multinational headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Regeneron is developing and distributing the treatment in the US, Roche in the rest of the world.
The antibody cocktail involves two monoclonal antibodies that bind themselves to the virus’ spike protein, in effect blunting it.
The trial involved patients hospitalized between September 18, 2020 and May 22, 2021.
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In the words of George D. Yancopoulos, the chief scientific officer of Regeneron, “Definitive Phase 3 trials have now demonstrated that REGEN-COV can alter the course of COVID-19 infection from prevention, to infection, all the way through to when patients are on a ventilator in the hospital.”