One of the experimental drugs that President Trump and Rudy Giuliani received while they were infected with the coronavirus is REGENCOV2 by Regeneron. This drug has been approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration to combat COVID-19 in October 2019.
The drug is made by the biotech company Regeneron. It combines two antibodies (casirivimab and imdevimab) together and is given by IV.
This combination of drugs has shown to significantly reduce virus levels with days of treatment. According to the FDA, the drug is only for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients in people 12 years and older. According to the FDA, the drug is not to be used in COVID 19 patients who are requiring oxygen therapy due to the COVID-19 virus.
The antiviral drug is informally known as an antibody cocktail. These drugs bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and may be able to treat infected patients or prevent infection. Monoclonal antibodies are produced outside of the body by a single clone of cells or a cell line with identical antibody molecules and then delivered to patients by injection or infusion. The antibodies bind to certain proteins of a virus, reducing the ability of the virus to infect human cells.
The drug is designed to mimic what a well-functioning immune system does by using very potent antibodies to neutralize the virus.
You may have heard mentioned in the news with regard to the dangers of the COVID-19 cytokine storm. Cytokine storm is a hyperactive response by the immune system that can lead to massive amounts of inflammation and cause tremendous tissue damage. Cytokine storms may be responsible for many of the severe cases of Covid-19.
It is believed by researchers that certain types of interferons can unleash inflammation in the body, while others tamp it down. Yet other types can spur cells to strengthen their defenses against viruses.
Researchers are exploring whether treatments of synthetic interferons can help people fight off the coronavirus.
Monoclonal antibodies, like REGENCOV2, created in the laboratory can mimic the natural antibodies produced by our immune system. Using these very potent antibodies researchers hope to neutralize the virus and prevent a hyperactive immune response like cytokine storm.
According to Regeneron patients who had one or more risk factors and were given REGENCOV2 had a 72 percent reduction in related medical treatment in comparison to those who were not given the medicine.
Ben Carson the US Secretary of Housing also was cleared for use of the drug and he believes the drug actually saved his life. Mr. Carson was quoted as saying, “Mr. Trump cleared me for the monoclonal antibody therapy that he had previously received, …I am convinced saved my life.”
Leonard S. Schleifer, President and CEO of Regeneron, said in a statement. “The science and technology investments Regeneron has made over three decades positioned us to move rapidly to invent, study, and maximize production of REGEN-COV2. Even with these incredible efforts, demand may exceed supply initially, making it even more critical that federal and state governments ensure REGEN-COV2 is distributed fairly and equitably to the patients most in need. In the first quarter of 2021, we expect to increase available REGEN-COV2 global supply as we continue our collaboration with Roche.”