WASHINGTON: Regeneron, the US biotech firm that supplied synthetic antibodies to treat President Donald Trump's COVID-19, announced Wednesday it had more positive results to show from an ongoing clinical trial. The company had previously announced results for 275 people in its late-stage study of non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients on REGN-COV2, and said data from an additional 524 people bore out the trend. It has already applied for an emergency use authorization for its drug.
"Today's analysis, involving more than 500 additional patients, prospectively confirms that REGN-COV2 can indeed significantly reduce viral load and further shows that these viral reductions are associated with a significant decrease in the need for further medical attention," said the company's president George Yancopoulos.
The trial found no significant difference in results between high dose (8 grams) and low dose (2.4 grams). The rate of COVID-19 related medical visits was 2.8 percent in the treatment groups and 6.5 percent in the placebo arm, a relative risk reduction of 57 percent.
Reduced COVID-19 related medical visits
It also reduced COVID-19 related medical visits by 72 percent in patients with one or more underlying conditions, including being over 50 years old, obesity, having heart, lung or kidney disease or being immunocompromised. REGN-COV2 is a combination of two antibodies, one harvested from a recovered patient and the other from a mouse with a human-like immune system.
In related news, an antibody treatment developed by the pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly showed positive results from a mid-stage clinical trial, whose findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. But only one of the three studied dose groups, 2.8 grams, was found to be effective, and only moderately.
Though these results were modest, the company later modified its study and reported more positive results, which haven't yet been published formally. The US government said Wednesday it was purchasing 300,000 doses of Lilly's drug, called bamlanivab, at the lowest dose level (0.7 gram).