UCHealth: Covid & Regeneron!

We curated this excellent article by Ted Neff from UCHealth Today. The title: “Does Regeneron antibody drug cocktail that Trump received work for COVID-19?”

Note: Regeneron’s lab-engineered antibody treatment, which Trump received after his COVID-19 diagnosis, is the focus of three clinical trials at Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus.

Dr. Thomas Campbell, a University of Colorado School of Medicine and UCHealth infectious-disease specialist, is leading clinical trials to learn whether the Regeneron antibody cocktail that President Donald Trump received works for patients with COVID-19. Photo: UCHealth.

One of the treatments President Donald Trump received soon after testing positive to COVID-19 was an experimental antibody cocktail from Regeneron.

The drug is so new that the federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved it yet for most hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Trump received Regeneron for COVID-19 under what’s known as a “compassionate use” request.

The key question now is whether Regeneron therapy for COVID-19 works. Doctors conducting clinical trials on the experimental drug in Colorado and elsewhere are working to answer that question now.

President Trump, Regeneron and COVID-19
The drug, called REGN-COV2, is well familiar to Dr. Thomas Campbell, a University of Colorado School of Medicine and UCHealth virologist and infectious-disease specialist. He’s leading the Colorado site in two multi-center clinical trials sponsored by Regeneron to understand REGEN-CoV2’s safety and effectiveness against COVID-19. While preliminary findings announced in a Sept. 29 press release from the company look promising, the drug’s effectiveness remains an open question, Campbell says.

The Regeneron clinical trials Campbell is conducting are among three trials related to Regeneron that are now underway at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Campbell’s studies focus on testing REGN-COV2 with outpatients as well as inpatients. A third study is considering the drug’s effectiveness in preventing the coronavirus.That one is being led locally by Dr. Eric Simoes, a CU School of Medicine pediatric infectious-disease specialist, and his colleague, Dr. Brian Montague, who focuses on infectious diseases in adults for UCHealth and the CU School of Medicine.

Dr. Brian Montague is among researchers who are testing whether an experimental antibody cocktail made by Regeneron helps prevent or teat COVID-19. Photo: UCHealth.

REGN-COV2 contains two monoclonal antibodies, REGN10933 and REGN10987. These are lab-engineered proteins that act like the infection fighters your body produces after being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or taking an effective vaccine that mimics aspects of the virus. Regeneron researchers evaluated thousands of antibodies produced by people who had recovered from COVID-19 as well as by mice genetically engineered to have human immune systems. They winnowed that long list down to those two antibodies. Both bind to different parts of the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins the coronavirus uses to unlock human cells and ultimately hijack cellular machinery to make untold copies of themselves. So doing, in theory, gums up the ability of the virus to replicate.

Regeneron results: So far, so good…

Continue reading here.

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