Regeneron's (REGN -1.81%) COVID-19 treatment candidate is getting a big boost from Roche (RHHBY 0.77%). The two companies announced in a joint press release Wednesday that they are collaborating on the development of the former's REGN-COV2, and will together manufacture and distribute it if it wins approval from regulators.
The pair said that by combining their efforts, the supply of the treatment could be ramped up by at least three and a half times current capacity. They added that there is potential for further increases.
REGN-COV2, which is a dual antibody "cocktail," is being investigated as both a drug to treat active COVID-19 cases and as a preventive medicine. It is currently undergoing two phase 2/3 clinical trials for the former and a single phase 3 for the latter. This makes REGN-COV2 one of the more advanced COVID-19 candidates and has tagged Regeneron as a leading coronavirus stock.
The company is included in the government's Warp Speed program, which provides federal monetary and resource support for developers of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
If REGN-COV2 proves efficacious and is approved for use, Regeneron would distribute it in the U.S., and Roche would do so for the rest of the world.
Roche CEO Bill Anderson was quoted as saying that his company is "committing our manufacturing expertise and capacity, and our global distribution network to bring Regeneron's potential antibody combination to as many people around the world as we possibly can."
Investors were clearly pleased by the companies' latest news. On Wednesday, as the S&P 500 index fell, shares of Regeneron rose to close 1.8% higher, while Roche stock ticked up 0.6%.