Regeneron Pharmaceuticals launched clinical trials last week of an antibody cocktail intended to both prevent and treat COVID-19.
The antibody cocktail — called REGN-COV2 — is composed of antibodies, akin to those produced naturally in the body, but selected for maximum potency and strength. When injected, the antibodies protect the body from COVID-19 infection. Unlike vaccines, which are only used preventatively, they can also treat an existing infection. The company created REGN-COV2 using a similar approach to how it created REGN-EB3, a triple antibody treatment for Ebola, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing.
According to the press release, the clinical trials will consist of four separate study populations: two for treatment and two for prevention.
The drug will be given to hospitalized COVID-19 patients and non-hospitalized symptomatic COVID-19 patients to assess its safety and efficacy as a treatment.
To test how it works as a preventative measure, the drug will also be given to uninfected people in groups that are at high-risk of exposure (such as healthcare workers or first responders) and uninfected people with close exposure to a COVID-19 patient (such as the patient's housemate).
The trials will be conducted at multiple sites.