Biotech Giant Sees Potential COVID-19 Human Trial Testing By Early Summer

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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ : REGN) said Tuesday it hopes to have its COVID-19 treatment ready for clinical trials by early summer.

The biotech giant said it is using a multi-antibody approach in its quest to develop a potential vaccine that could work against the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Regeneron’s first approach is based on isolating hundreds of virus-neutralizing full human antibodies from the company’s VelocImmune mice, which has been genetically modified to have a human immune system. The effort aims to make a patient’s immune system not attack the antibody. Meanwhile the second approach includes antibodies from humans who have recovered from COVID-19.

To battle Covid-19, Regeneron says it wants to select from this large pool of candidates two antibodies against the virus, which is known as SARS-CoV-2. The selection will be based on potency, binding ability to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and other “desirable qualities” like specificity and durability in the body.

Regeneron said it is working toward the goal of producing hundreds of thousands of prophylactic doses per month by the end of summer and as mentioned, hopes to start running human clinical trials at the beginning of the summer.

The treatment, if successful, would be used to treat and prevent the virus.

In related news, the New York-based Regeneron and Sanofi SA (SNY) announced yesterday the start of a clinical program evaluating Kevzara® (sarilumab) in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 infection. The companies said this U.S.-based trial will begin at medical centers in New York, one of the epicenters of the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak.

Price Action

Regeneron shares were trading up by 10.30%, or $45.45, at $486.41 at the time of publication Tuesday.

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