Regeneron tests COVID-19 antibody therapy in UK’s RECOVERY trial

Regeneron’s COVID-19 antibody cocktail has been added to the UK’s RECOVERY trial, one of the largest of its kind in the world that is testing several potential coronavirus therapies at the same time.

The phase 3 open-label trial will test the cocktail in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 and will compare the effects of adding the antibody cocktail REGN-COV2 to the usual standard-of-care versus standard-of-care on its own.

RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) trial is being conducted in NHS hospitals and has already demonstrated the benefits of dexamethasone as a treatment for COVID-19, showing the cheap steroid cut recovery times and reduced mortality.

While the country has been hard-hit by the tragedy of the coronavirus, RECOVERY is becoming recognised as one of the most authoritative trials in COVID-19, thanks to the ability of NHS hospitals to collaborate under the UK’s taxpayer-funded health system.

RECOVERY is also rigorous enough to show what doesn’t work, providing conclusive data that hydroxychloroquine and a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir do not produce meaningful benefits in the disease.

Regeneron hopes that RECOVERY will provide definitive data about REGN-COV2 and its impact on mortality, hospital stays and the need for ventilation.

REGN-COV2 is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies, designed to block infections of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Regeneron tested thousands of antibodies produced in mice modified to have a human immune system, as well as antibodies identified from people who have recovered from COVID-19.

The two antibodies chosen by Regeneron bind to the receptor binding domain of the virus’s spike protein, which it uses to bind with and infect healthy cells.

Regeneron’s antibodies bind to the protein in a place that reduces the ability of mutant viruses to escape treatment and protects against Spike variants that have arisen in the human population.

REGN-COV2’s development and manufacturing has been funded in part by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an agency of the US government.

Regeneron has also partnered with Roche to increase the supply of REGN-COV2 if it proves safe and effective in clinical trials, with Regeneron manufacturing and distributing it in the US, and Roche developing, manufacturing and distributing it outside the US.

RECOVERY is conducted by the Nuffield Department of Population Health in partnership with the Nuffield Department of Medicine.

It is supported with a grant from Oxford University, UK Research and Innovation/National Institute for Health Research and funding from sources including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The trial involves many thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and research administrators at 176 hospitals across the whole of the UK.


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