Regeneron’s antibody cocktail slashes the risk of contracting Covid-19 for up to eight months, the company announced Monday, potentially paving the way for regulators to greenlight the product as a preventative and offering hope for immunocompromised people and those not responding to vaccination.
A single dose of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail—administered via four injections—cut the risk of contracting Covid-19 by 81.6% up to eight months after it’s given, the New York-based biotech said.
The study, which was conducted by the company and has not yet been published or peer reviewed, builds on earlier work demonstrating the treatment to cut the risk of contracting Covid-19 by 81% in the first month after administration.
George Yancopoulos, Regeneron’s chief scientific officer, said the data add to the increasing body of evidence supporting the antibody cocktail’s use to prevent Covid-19, a boon to the immunocompromised people who remain “prisoners of the pandemic,” who are vulnerable to infection despite vaccination.
Yancopoulos said the company plans to “rapidly” share the additional data with regulators, which could pave the way for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to clear the treatment for additional uses.
While the FDA has granted the antibody cocktail emergency use authorization to treat outpatients at risk of severe illness or prevent illness in at-risk groups exposed to the virus, it has not been cleared for preventing infection in those not already exposed, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Regeneron’s antibody cocktail is one of several monoclonal antibody treatments that have been granted emergency use authorization by the FDA, which have proven largely effective at preventing hospitalization and death from Covid-19, and is the only monoclonal antibody therapy recommended by the World Health Organization to treat Covid-19. The federal government has restricted access to the lifesaving treatments after the huge surge of Covid-19 cases raises fears of shortages, with several hard-hit states restricting access to only those most at risk from Covid-19. Since it was first approved by regulators in 2020, and again this summer as a preventative after exposure, a number of promising new treatments for Covid-19 have been tested and await approval by regulators, including antiviral pills by Merck and Pfizer.