The American biotechnical firm Regeneron announced this past Tuesday that its Coronavirus Antibody Cocktail Reduces Viral Load and Recovery Time in Outpatients at an early stage of treatment.
“We are very encouraged by the robust and consistent nature of this initial data,” he said. George Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer of the company. “We have begun to discuss our findings with regulatory authorities as we continue our ongoing trial,” he added.
The study was done with 275 patients selected for the Regeneron phase 1 trial.
Patients were randomly assigned to receive a randomized low dose, high dose, or placebo of the drug, and they were also classified according to the positive or negative response of antibodies they had generated.
The greatest benefit of the treatment has been en patients who have not generated their own effective immune response, which suggested that the drug, known as REGN-COV2, it could act as a surrogate in the absence of the naturally occurring antibodies, according to Yancopoulos.
Regeneron will expand the trial to 1,300 patients for the next stages. On the other hand, the pharmaceutical company is simultaneously conducting late-phase trials for hospitalized covid-19 patients and for the potential use of the drug as prophylaxis.
Antibodies are infection-fighting proteins produced by the immune system that can bind to particular structures on the surfaces of pathogens and prevent them from invading cells.
Vaccines work by teaching the body to make its own antibodies, while scientists are testing antibodies already prepared from the blood of patients who have recovered, called convalescent plasma. However, until the moment, it is not possible to do a massive treatment of convalescence plasma.
Researchers can also examine the antibodies produced by recovered patients and select the most effective from thousands, and then manufacture them at scale.
Regeneron uses a strategy multibodies to decrease the chances that the virus will mutate in order to evade the blocking action of a single antibody, an approach the company detailed in a recent study published in Science.
Last year, a triple antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron had been shown to work effectively against the Ebola virus.
Also on Tuesday, the company of Modern biotechnology, one of the main in the race for a vaccine against COVID-19, reported the results of phase 1 of her clinical trial, according to which her drug was safe and generated a strong immune response among a group of 40 older adults.
The Modern phase 3, the final stage prior to approval, is also underway and its first results could be known by the end of the year.