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Regeneron says antibody drug effective at preventing, treating COVID-19

April 12 (UPI) — Regeneron said Monday it will ask the Food and Drug Administration to expand emergency use authorization for its antibody drug to be used as a preventative treatment against COVID-19.

The drugmaker said late-stage clinical trials showed that its REG-COV antibody treatment was 72% effective in protecting household contacts from exposure to symptomatic COVID-19 in the first week and 93% effective in the following weeks.

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“These data suggest that REGEN-COV can complement widespread vaccination strategies, particularly for those at high-risk of infection,” Dr. Myron Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina, said in a statement.

Cohen said the treatment has been shown to retain its potency against emerging COVID-19 variants.

“If authorized, convenient subcutaneous administration of REGEN-COV could help control outbreaks in high-risk settings where individuals have not yet been vaccinated, including individual households and group living settings,” Cohen added.

Dr. Dan H. Barouch co-principal investigator of the trial and Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said Regeneron’s trials showed that the antibody has also shown to be an effective treatment after exposure.

“The rapid and robust protection, together with the subcutaneous route of administration, support the practical utility of these antibodies in protecting against COVID-19 in multiple settings, including after high-risk exposures,” Barouch said.

Former President Donald Trump took the antibody treatment after he tested positive for COVID-19 last fall. The FDA gave emergency approval in November.

A year in pandemic: How COVID-19 changed the world

January 31, 2020

National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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