Regeneron Pharmaceuticals starts human trials of its candidate antibody cocktail for COVID-19

By: Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh is an active follower of world affairs, technology, an avid reader, and loves to play table tennis in… read more.
on Jun 11, 2020
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals starts human trials of its candidate antibody cocktail for COVID-19.
  • REGN-COV2 is being tested on hospitalized and non-hospitalized symptomatic patients.
  • Eli Lilly & Co. may receive authorization to use its drug to treat COVID-19 by September.

In a statement on Thursday, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN) said that it has started human trials of its candidate antibodies-based vaccine for COVID-19. Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos also highlighted that the company is using an adaptive approach for human testing. The trial has, therefore, begun with dozens of patients and is likely to quickly reach thousands of participants in the upcoming weeks.  

Shares of the company were reported roughly 3% down on Thursday. At £473.50 per share, the American biotechnology company is currently 60% up year to date in the stock market. Learn more about why prices rise and fall in the stock market.

Regeneron’s cocktail is a combination of two antibodies

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Regeneron’s dual antibody treatment that it is calling REGN-COV2 is being tested on both hospitalized COVID-19 patients and non-hospitalized symptomatic patients. The pharmaceutical company also plans on testing its experimental vaccine for prevention of the novel respiratory disease in healthcare workers and other relevant individuals with a higher risk of exposure. Previously, Regeneron’s Kevzara (arthritis drug) failed to show benefit in non-critical COVID-19 patients.

Regeneron’s cocktail comprises of two antibodies; one extracted from a COVID-19 patient who recovered completely and another that the company made in a laboratory setting. The two antibodies in combination, are expected to attach to the spike proteins on the surface of the novel Coronavirus that will potentially limit its ability to cause harm to the human body.

COVID-19 patients will get a single intravenous dose of Regeneron’s candidate vaccine. In studies focused on investigating the role of the treatment in preventing the lungs disease, smaller doses will be given to the participants subcutaneously. The human trial is aimed at studying the effect of the cocktail on COVID-19 symptoms and viral load.

Eli Lilly’s drug may be authorized for use to treat COVID-19 by September

In separate news, the Chief Scientific Officer of Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) also said on Wednesday that the company is currently testing two antibody-based treatments for COVID-19. Upon positive results, the American pharmaceutical company may receive authorization to use the drug in COVID-19 patients by September.

Shares of the company posted an about 5% intraday loss on Thursday. At £114.50 per share, Eli Lilly is currently a little under 10% up year to date in the stock market after recovering from a low of £94.50 per share in March.

At the time of writing, the drugmaker is valued at £109.52 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 23.89.

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