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Regeneron Says Its COVID-19 Combo Treatment Could Be Ready for People This Fall

By Cory Renauer – May 5, 2020 at 3:22PM

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Development of the company's coronavirus cocktail is progressing at top speed.

During Regeneron's (REGN -2.09%) earnings call on Tuesday, Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos told analysts that the company planned to start human trials of REGN-COV2, the company's experimental COVID-19 treatment, in June. That means that if results from those studies are positive, the antibody cocktail could be available for use by the end of summer or fall. 

From Ebola to COVID-19 

Remdesivir, a recently approved COVID-19 treatment from Gilead Sciences (GILD -1.53%), and Regeneron's antibody cocktail both emerged from an Ebola study. While Gilead was ready to test its older antiviral candidate against COVID-19 right off the bat, Regeneron quickly developed new antibodies that specifically bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. 

Surgical mask close up.

Image source: Getty Images.

Gilead's remdesivir was shown to reduce the number of days critically ill COVID-19 patients spent hospitalized from 15 to 11, which isn't a very high bar for Regeneron's antibody cocktail to vault over.

Track record

In April, the FDA accepted an application from Regeneron for REGN-EB3 as an Ebola treatment, and it's largely expected to earn approval. The antibody cocktail outperformed other investigational antiviral drugs in the Ebola study by a mile, including remdesivir.

The REGN-COV2 program is using a multi-antibody approach that targets different parts of SARS-CoV-2. Regeneron used the same platform to rapidly develop its coronavirus antiviral as it used to develop REGN-EB3 for Ebola. 

In April, Regeneron moved its REGN-COV2 antibodies into clinical-scale production and expects to have hundreds of thousands of doses available by the end of August. While Regeneron is going to develop REGN-EB3 as a treatment for people who have severe cases of COVID-19, it could also be used to prevent new infections.

Cory Renauer owns shares of Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Stock Quote
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
$690.70 (-2.09%) $-14.72
Gilead Sciences, Inc. Stock Quote
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
$62.95 (-1.53%) $0.98

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