(Reuters) – Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Monday a single dose of its antibody cocktail (casirivimab and imdevimab) reduced the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 81.6% in the two to eight months period following the drug’s administration in a late-stage trial.
Enrollees in the trial were at high risk for infection because of household exposure to a person with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The results showed that REGEN-COV, 1,200 mg via 4 subcutaneous injections, has the potential to provide long-lasting immunity from COVID-19 infection, said Myron Cohen, who leads monoclonal antibody efforts for the U.S. National Institutes of Health-sponsored COVID Prevention Network.
Such immunity is particularly important for immunocompromised people and those not responding to vaccines, the company said.
The therapy had previously shown an 81.4% risk reduction during the first month after administration.
During the 8-month assessment period, there were no hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the REGEN-COV group, but in the placebo group 6 such incidents were recorded, Regeneron said.
The trial allowed participants to become vaccinated if they wished once the primary efficacy treatment period (month 1) was complete. Vaccination rates during the months 2-8 assessment period were balanced, with 34.5% (n=290) of the REGEN-COV group and 35.2% (n=296) of the placebo group receiving at least 1 COVID-19 vaccine dose by the end of the 8-month assessment period, the company said.
The U.S. health regulator in July expanded REGEN-COV’s authorization to enable its use as a preventive treatment in people exposed to infected individuals, and those at high risk of such exposure in settings such as nursing homes or prisons.
It was authorized in the United States last November to treat people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease.
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