Antibody Cocktail To Prevent And Treat Covid-19

August 20, 2020

A cocktail of antibodies designed to prevent and treat COVID-19 is now reportedly in the advanced stages of clinical trials.

As previously reported by Live Science, when naturally infected with COVID-19, the body produces Y-shaped molecules called antibodies that attach to the virus and mark it for destruction, or hinder its ability to infect healthy cells. These antibodies can be taken from recovered COVID-19 patients and injected into sick patients to boost their immune system against the virus, a therapy known as convalescent plasma therapy.

For example, some antibodies directly prevent the virus from entering cells in the first place – so-called neutralizing antibodies – while others may not prevent infection, according to a report published in June in the Journal of Clinical Virology. Instead, they direct other immune molecules to destroy the infected cells.

To overcome this limitation and avoid relying on a limited plasma supply, some drug developers have turned to monoclonal antibodies – carefully selected antibodies that target specific pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2 – and then mass-produced them in the lab.

Now, according to ClinicalTrials.gov, one of those therapies, called REGN-COV2, has entered Phase 3 clinical trials to evaluate whether it can prevent COVID-19 infections in healthy people who have had close contact with an infected person, such as a roommate. according to Regeneron, the biotech company that developed the drug Pharmaceuticals’ statement, in which 2,000 participants at 100 locations across the U.S. will receive either the drug or a placebo, the results will show how well the drug works compared to the placebo drug and whether any safety issues arise. The trial will be conducted in conjunction with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

REGN-COV2 contains two antibodies that adsorb and help neutralize the coronavirus, hindering its ability to infect healthy cells, according to the statement. The two antibodies bind to the virus’ spike protein, a structure that protrudes from the surface of the pathogen and inserts into cells to trigger infection.Regeneron scientists discovered the two antibodies by studying transgenic mice with a human-like immune system and antibodies collected from human COVID-19 patients.

Participants will continue to be monitored for infection, hospitalization and related medical complications, as well as any side effects associated with the drug itself, for up to eight months after treatment, according to ClinicalTrials.gov.

While the Phase 3 trial evaluates REGN-COV2 as a preventive therapy, the drug will also be tested as a treatment for patients who already have COVID-19. In two Phase 2/3 clinical trials, one for inpatients and one for non-inpatients, researchers will evaluate whether the drug reduces viral shedding in infected patients and improves clinical outcomes compared to placebo.The Phase 2/3 trial will include 850 inpatients and 1,050 non-inpatients at 150 sites in the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and Chile.

“We are conducting concurrent adaptive trials in order to provide a potential solution for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection as quickly as possible, even in the midst of a global pandemic,” Dr. George Yancopoulos, Regeneron co-founder, president and chief scientific officer, said in a statement.

In addition to Regeneron, pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly and AbCellera are also currently evaluating human trials of antibody treatments against COVID-19, according to CNN.

If the FDA approves the drug at the end of the Phase 3 trial, REGN-COV2 will enter its final phase, known as Phase 4, during which time the drug could enter widespread use and its short- and long-term effects would be monitored in thousands of patients.