Jun 11, 2020 - Health

Regeneron starts human trials for coronavirus antibody drugs

A room with blue furniture in Regeneron's headquarters building.
Regeneron is studying its antibody treatment in four different patient groups. Photo: Regeneron

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is testing a new coronavirus antibody drug in humans as part of a federally funded, wide-ranging, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Why it matters: The drug candidate is going to be tested as a way to both treat and prevent the infection.

Details: Regeneron is testing its "antibody cocktail" in four patient groups, according to the company's announcement:

  • "Hospitalized COVID-19 patients, non-hospitalized symptomatic COVID-19 patients, uninfected people in groups that are at high-risk of exposure (such as health care workers or first responders) and uninfected people with close exposure to a COVID-19 patient (such as the patient's housemate)."

Between the lines: Regeneron has had some success with this idea of combining antibodies into one treatment as a way to ward off invading diseases — most recently with a treatment for the Ebola virus.

  • Eli Lilly similarly is testing its own coronavirus antibody treatment and hopes to get emergency authorization by the fall, Reuters reported.

Yes, but: This is still just the beginning of a phase one trial. We're several months away from knowing whether these treatments are safe and effective against the virus and disease.

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