President Trump received an experimental antibody treatment to treat a confirmed case of COVID-19, according to a White House memo the President's physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, issued on Friday. In response to the late afternoon release, shares of the biotechnology company developing the treatment Trump received, Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN) quickly gained around 3% in after-hours trading.
In addition to zinc supplements and a daily aspirin, the President received an 8-gram dose REGN-COV2. This is a pair of antibodies Regeneron developed that glom on to the spiky part of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, which should prevent it from entering host cells and hijacking their machinery to self-replicate millions of times over.
Regeneron's antibody cocktail was developed using the same antibody discovery platform the company used to make an experimental Ebola virus treatment called REGN-EB3. Success for REGN-COV2 seems likely because treatment with REGN-EB3, a three-antibody cocktail, significantly reduced the risk of death for patients with the Ebola virus compared to other antiviral treatments in a phase 3 clinical trial.
Regeneron's antibody cocktail for Ebola virus is still under priority review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with an approval decision announcement expected on or before Oct. 25. Unfortunately, the company's COVID-19 treatment candidate isn't nearly as close to the goal line. In June, Regeneron began pivotal trials with REGN-COV2 that include hospitalized and non-hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients.
By Friday afternoon, USA Today reported the President is being taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in "a precautionary move."