The experimental coronavirus cocktail Trump received has been proven to work—there’s just not enough of it to go around

regeneron coronavirus trump
Photo via quapan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Drugmaker Regeneron said in late October that patients who received its experimental COVID-19 cocktail made about 57% fewer coronavirus-related medical visits than those who received a placebo during a 29-day period. 

The antibody therapy made headlines earlier this month after it was revealed that it speeded up President Trump’s recovery time from COVID-19. 

“They gave me Regeneron and it was like, unbelievable,” Trump said. “I felt good. Immediately. I felt as good three days ago as I do now.”

In June, the federal government agreed to purchase 300,000 doses of the antibody cocktail for $450 million. Trump has said the hope is to provide it to most Americans free of charge, but as of early October, the company said it only has 50,000 doses available. 

The cocktail is made up of two monoclonal antibodies, manufactured copies of antibodies that are one of the main weapons the immune system generates to fight infections. For patients with one or more risk factors, such as Trump, the cocktail reduced medical visits by 72%. 

More than 800 patients took part in the recent trial that Regeneron says confirms findings from September that showed the treatment reduced viral levels and improved symptoms in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

“Today’s analysis, involving more than 500 additional patients, prospectively confirms that REGN-COV2 can indeed significantly reduce viral load and further shows that these viral reductions are associated with a significant decrease in the need for further medical attention,” Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron, said in a statement. “We continue to see the strongest effects in patients who are most at risk for poor outcomes due to high viral load, ineffective antibody immune response at baseline, or pre-existing risk factors.”

Regeneron has shared the results with the FDA as part of the paperwork submitted in its request for emergency use authorization. 

The findings come in the same week that the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly released interim analysis that showed its own similar monoclonal antibody treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization and symptoms in patients with a mild to moderate case of COVID-19. On October 27, Eli Lilly agreed to sell 300,000 doses of its treatment to the U.S. government for $375 million. 

Sources: NBC News, CNN, Yahoo News 

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