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Trump’s coronavirus treatment: What is the Regeneron antibody cocktail?

Trump’s coronavirus treatment: What is the Regeneron antibody cocktail?
Posted at 1:54 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 20:11:11-04

President Donald Trump’s physical Dr. Sean Conley confirmed Friday that the president is taking an experimental antibody treatment to help him fight the coronavirus following his diagnosis this morning.

Dr. Conley said Friday afternoon that Trump is "fatigued."

Trump is taking the Regeneron antibody cocktail, which is currently in a clinical trial. Conley said that Trump has been treated with a single 8 gram dose, which Conley said was infused "without incident."

Trump is also said to be taking Vitamin D, zinc, famotidine, melatonin and daily aspirin.

The Regeneron trial has only been tried on 275 patients as of this week, but the company said earlier this week that it has showed promising results.

Regeneron confirmed that Trump was given the treatment under a "compassionate use request."

"In the USA, this type of compassionate use program is also known as an Expanded Access Program (EAP) and is intended for patients with serious or life-threatening conditions, who do not have any viable or available treatment options, and are unable to participate in ongoing clinical trials," Regeneron said in a statement.

The plan is to enroll 2,000 patients in early studies of the treatment.

"After months of incredibly hard work by our talented team, we are extremely gratified to see that Regeneron's antibody cocktail REGN-COV2 rapidly reduced viral load and associated symptoms in infected COVID-19 patients," said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. "The greatest treatment benefit was in patients who had not mounted their own effective immune response, suggesting that REGN-COV2 could provide a therapeutic substitute for the naturally-occurring immune response. These patients were less likely to clear the virus on their own, and were at greater risk for prolonged symptoms.

The treatment is a combination of two monoclonal and was designed specifically to block infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the company said.

“The two potent, virus-neutralizing antibodies that form REGN-COV2 bind non-competitively to the critical receptor binding domain of the virus's spike protein, which diminishes the ability of mutant viruses to escape treatment and protects against spike variants that have arisen in the human population, as detailed in Science.” Regeneron said in a statement. “Preclinical studies have shown that REGN-COV2 reduced the amount of virus and associated damage in the lungs of non-human primates.”

According to Regeneron, the treatment has been tried on hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients and as a preventative for those who have had close contact with coronavirus patients. So far, the drug has been particularly promising for non-hospitalized patients.

Regeneron said the treatment reduces the viral load from the coronavirus, and boosts the body’s immune response to the virus.