Antibody cocktail ‘rapidly’ prevents and treats COVID, study finds. Here’s how
New results from a multi-stage clinical trial show that a cocktail of specific antibodies can lower the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 by 81% if someone is not already infected with the virus. And for those who are still infected, the drug may help clear the virus from their bodies faster and shorten the duration of their symptoms.
A separate study found that the cocktail called REGEN-COV can also reduce the likelihood of coronavirus symptoms from asymptomatic infection by 76% after three days, American biotechnology company Regeneron announced on Monday.
The cocktail was approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration in November and is currently used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and children 12 years and older who are at high risk of serious illness and are not ins Hospitalized; It was the same drug that was given to former President Donald Trump when he tested positive for coronavirus in October.
Researchers say these antibodies can help protect people from infection and disease in addition to vaccinations, and they can be especially useful for those waiting to get their shots or those with weakened immune systems who may not be doing well Address vaccines.
"As more than 60,000 Americans continue to be diagnosed with COVID-19 every day, the REGEN-COV antibody cocktail can help provide immediate protection to unvaccinated people exposed to the virus," said Dr. George Yancopoulos, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, said in a statement. "These Phase 3 data provide even more evidence that REGEN-COV ... can change the course of COVID-19 infection in out-of-hospital patients" by effectively preventing asymptomatic patients from becoming symptomatic.
Participants in the late-stage study were only enrolled if they had no COVID-19 symptoms, had no coronavirus antibodies, and lived with someone who tested positive in the previous four days. People who tested negative were placed in the "prevention study" (1,505), and those who tested positive were placed in the "treatment study" (204).
All participants were then randomly given a dose of the antibody cocktail or placebo, which was given by subcutaneous injection when a short needle delivers drug into the layer of tissue between the skin and the muscle. The technique is typically used when drugs are administered in small doses or when they need to be dispensed quickly.
COVID-19 vaccines are given intramuscularly or in the muscle for reference.
What the "prevention attempt" found out
In addition to finding that the antibody cocktail reduced the risk of developing symptomatic infections in uninfected people by 81%, the study found that the drug helped clear up symptoms in one week compared with three weeks in the placebo group those who did develop infections.
"These results are very encouraging and suggest that REGEN-COV is highly effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in household contacts of SARS-CoV-2 infected people," said Dr. Dan Barouch, co-principal investigator of the study and director of The Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston said in the statement. "The rapid and robust protection along with the subcutaneous route of administration supports the practical utility of these antibodies in protecting against COVID-19 in a variety of environments, including after high risk exposures."
Side effects occurred in 20% of participants who received the cocktail, including fever, itchy skin, chills, and abdominal pain. Nobody who received the drug was hospitalized. Two people who received the cocktail died, but their deaths were not caused by COVID-19 or the drug, according to the company.
What the "treatment attempt" found out
The antibody cocktail was found to prevent people with asymptomatic infections from developing symptomatic infections by 76% after three days.
Researchers also learned that the drug reduced the number of weeks patients experienced symptoms by 45% and reduced their viral load - the amount of virus in their bodies - by more than 90%. This means that people treated with REGEN-COV may be less likely to spread the virus after they become infected.
34% of the participants experienced side effects similar to those in the other study. Nobody was hospitalized or died.
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