July 5, 2022

Regeneron’s Antibody Drug Cuts Risk of Death in Some Covid-19 Patients

An antibody treatment developed by

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.

REGN -0.24%

has been shown to significantly cut the risk of death among certain hospitalized Covid-19 patients, raising hopes for a valuable new tool for tackling severe cases.

A large U.K. trial involving nearly 10,000 patients showed that administering REGEN-COV on top of usual care reduced the risk of dying by a fifth among hospitalized coronavirus patients who hadn’t produced antibodies to the virus. The drug had no effect among patients who had already produced antibodies.

The results released Wednesday by the U.K. researchers are a boost for a drug class that until now had only been shown to work against milder forms of the disease. Antibody therapies for Covid-19 target the spike protein on the surface of the virus with the aim of preventing it from entering cells. Earlier trials of other antibody therapies in hospitalized patients were stopped because the treatments appeared to be ineffective in these severe cases.

“This is in some ways a first,” said Martin Landray, professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Oxford and one of the study’s leaders. “These patients are among the sickest patients, and we have a treatment we didn’t have before.” The study is part of the U.K’s wider RECOVERY trial, which tests various drugs against Covid-19.

In the trial, REGEN-COV was used on top of dexamethasone, a steroid treatment which was shown last year to reduce the risk of dying by 17% in all hospitalized patients. “Now you’re layering the effect of steroids,” said

George Yancopoulos,

Regeneron’s president and chief scientific officer. “That’s what makes it exciting.”

Of the 9,785 participants involved in the REGEN-COV study, around a third didn’t have antibodies in their blood when they entered the trial. Some people’s immune systems don’t produce antibodies or are slow to do so for a variety of reasons, including underlying health conditions or as a result of treatments like chemotherapy, according to the investigators. These were the patients who benefited from treatment with REGEN-COV, a cocktail of two antibodies that each targets different parts of the spike protein.

Several drugmakers are developing these types of drugs, with mixed success. Some have been granted emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for mild to moderate disease. But there have also been setbacks. On Tuesday,

AstraZeneca

PLC said its antibody therapy failed to prevent symptomatic Covid-19 in people recently exposed to the virus.

Regeneron said it would seek emergency-use authorization from the FDA for REGEN-COV among hospitalized patients. The drug has been available to treat recently diagnosed Covid-19 since November, and Regeneron has so far struck deals with the U.S. government to supply more than 1.5 million doses. In clinical trials, the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 70% in people with mild to moderate symptoms.

STAY INFORMED

Get a coronavirus briefing six days a week, and a weekly Health newsletter once the crisis abates: Sign up here.

Write to Denise Roland at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Related Posts

Black Market Undercuts Green Targets for Air Conditioners, Refrigerators in Europe

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

BRUSSELS—U.S. corporate giants are being hit so hard by a European smuggling wave that even the White House has weighed...

Google Strikes Deal With Hospital Chain to Develop Healthcare Algorithms

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG 0.78% Google and national hospital chain HCA Healthcare Inc. HCA 1.28% have struck a deal to develop...

Americans Are Leaving Unemployment Rolls More Quickly in States Cutting Off Benefits

June 27, 2021

June 27, 2021

The number of unemployment-benefit recipients is falling at a faster rate in Missouri and 21 others states canceling enhanced and...

U.S. Jobless Claims Fell to 364,000 Last Week

July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

Worker filings for jobless claims fell to 364,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, reaching a new pandemic low...

Gene Therapy, High-Tech Goggles Restore Some Vision to Blind People

May 24, 2021

May 24, 2021

Scientists are making dramatic strides toward a goal that once seemed almost unimaginable: Restoring limited vision to people affected by...

Hackers Stole $650,000 From Nonprofit and Got Away, Showing Limits to Law Enforcement’s Reach

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Just before Christmas 2020, hackers began to steal from One Treasure Island, a nonprofit that is redeveloping its namesake island...

Epic Games Faces Apple in Final Day of Courtroom Battle Over Monopoly Claims

May 24, 2021

May 24, 2021

Lawyers for Apple Inc. AAPL 1.79% and Epic Games Inc. on Monday began making their final arguments to a judge...

As Cruises Resume, a Positive Covid-19 Case Doesn’t Spell the End of a Voyage

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

Two passengers sharing a room on a Caribbean cruise ship tested positive this week for Covid-19, triggering safety precautions that...

How a SoftBank-Backed Construction Startup Burned Through $3 Billion

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

Venture-backed startup Katerra Inc. aimed to revolutionize the construction business by mastering every element of the trade at once. Instead,...

Global Chip Shortage ‘Is Far From Over’ as Wait Times Get Longer

October 29, 2021

October 29, 2021

Almost a year into a global chip shortage, the problems are increasing for many customers as delays get even longer...

Red-Hot U.S. Economy Drives Global Inflation, Forcing Foreign Banks to Act

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

A booming U.S. economy that is driving inflation higher around the world and pushing up the U.S. dollar is pressing...

The Hedge Fund Manager Who Did Battle With Exxon—and Won

June 12, 2021

June 12, 2021

Christopher James’s decision to do battle with one of the world’s biggest oil companies began with a family dinner in...

Jeffrey Toobin Returns to Air on CNN

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

Jeffrey Toobin, the former New Yorker staff writer who was fired from the magazine after he was seen masturbating while...

Amazon, Google Probed in U.K. Over Fake Reviews

June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

The U.K.’s antitrust regulator launched an investigation into whether Amazon. AMZN -1.56% com Inc. and Google are doing enough to...

Bank of Mexico Raises Interest Rates in Split Decision

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

The Bank of Mexico raised interest rates Thursday in a surprise decision after inflation came in higher than expected in...