June 12, 2020 -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has started its first clinical trial investigating an antibody treatment for COVID-19.
REGN-COV2 is an "antibody cocktail" designed to help prevent and treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to the company. Regeneron will test its therapeutic on four distinct study populations:
For its therapeutic agent, Regeneron selected promising, noncompeting antibodies found through testing people who have recovered from COVID-19 and mice that have been genetically modified to have human immune systems. The two selected antibodies work together to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain on the spike protein, diminishing its viral ability. Production of the neutralizing antibodies for clinical use was done with the company's VelociMab and manufacturing capabilities.
The REGN-COV2 trial is being partly funded by the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The company used a similar approach when developing a triple antibody treatment for Ebola, which is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.