Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) says that within its late-stage trial, a single dose of its antibody cocktail decreased the risk of contracting Covid-19 by 81.6%. The company’s shares rose 12% following the news. The data is anticipated to back the regulatory review intended to prolong therapy’s use in preventing Covid-19 in patients that are not exposed to the virus.
“If you want to protect people on a population level, vaccines are the best way to go – they’re cheap and you can make billions of doses,” said CEO Len Schleifer. “But our data now indicates that antibodies are the key player in the sense that they are sufficient.”
“You might not need the cellular immunity. It might add something, but antibodies are sufficient based on these data to protect you from getting Covid-19,” he added.
People that have compromised immunity are in line to receive Regeneron’s monoclonals every five or six months, “and they would be protected just as though they were vaccinated,” Schleifer said. He added that the company could administer the treatment to select people who are either at high risk for Covid complications or to essential workers that are concerned regarding immunizing.
However, Schleifer revealed that he did not believe the company could manufacture enough antibodies at a modest rate to use as extensively as vaccines.
“If you’re in the military, or you’re a teacher or you’re on the front line and you legitimately have this fear, maybe this can be offered as an alternative. It’s something we have to discuss,” Schleifer said. “But the data – put the politics aside – the data say that antibodies can protect you from getting Covid-19.”