A two-drug antibody cocktail from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals called REGEN-COV prevents COVID-19 in people exposed to an infected household member, preliminary data suggest.
In an ongoing study, REGEN-COV, containing the drugs casirivimab and imdevimab, has so far caused a 100% reduction in symptomatic infection and roughly 50% lower overall rates of infection, the company announced on Tuesday.
The results suggest that the cocktail may not only reduce transmission of the virus but may also reduce disease severity in those who get infected, said Regeneron research chief and co-founder George Yancopoulos. The therapy, which would be given to those in close contact with an infected person, immediately delivers virus-fighting antibodies into the body as opposed to vaccines spur the body’s immune system to develop its own antibodies over weeks.
“This approach could protect patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer, enable control/prevention of outbreaks in an institutional setting and reduce pressure on health services,” said Dr. Penny Ward from King’s College London.
The initial data comes from the first 409 subjects of a trial that hopes to recruit 2,450 participants. Full data from the trial are expected in April.