Antibody Therapy Shown To Reduce Risk Of Death In COVID-19 Patients, Seeks FDA Approval

An antibody treatment has been shown to reduce mortality in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 by 20%, researchers at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said Wednesday.

The drug, REGEN-COV, was shown to be effective in seronegative patients, or patients who do not produce natural antibodies to the coronavirus, according to the results of Regeneron’s clinical trial released Wednesday. Seronegative patients typically have double the mortality rates of patients who are able to produce antibodies to the coronavirus, according to the study.

The treatment is an intravenous infusion of two lab-created antibodies that target the spike protein of COVID-19 and prevent it from entering cells.

“Giving them this combination of two antibodies by an intravenous infusion then actually reduces their chances of dying by a fifth,” one of the study’s head researchers Sir Martin Landray said in a statement Wednesday. “These patients are among the sickest patients, and we have a treatment we didn’t have before.”

The study, part of the larger RECOVERY trial that explores COVID-19 treatments, involved 9,785 hospitalized patients of whom a third were seronegative. Though the drug reduced the risk of death in seronegative patients by 20%, it had no effect on patients already producing antibodies.

“It is wonderful to learn that even in advanced COVID-19 disease, targeting the virus can reduce mortality in patients who have failed to mount an antibody response of their own,” said Sir Peter Horby, one of the RECOVERY trial’s lead researchers, in a statement Wednesday.READ MORE

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