Regeneron CEO says monoclonal antibodies have been protecting people from Covid for months – News Couple

Regeneron CEO says monoclonal antibodies have been protecting people from Covid for months

Dr. Leonard Schleifer, CEO of Regeneron

Scott Millian | CNBC

Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies give months of protection from Covid-19 and can be given to individuals whose immune systems are not sufficiently protected by vaccines, CEO Lynne Schleifer told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.

Schleifer’s comments came after Regeneron released data showing that a single dose of the antibody combination reduced the risk of contracting the virus by nearly 82% for two to eight months. Regeneron monoclonal has been given intravenously to treat moderate Covid symptoms during the pandemic and reduce chances of hospitalization in high-risk patients, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

“If you want to protect people at the population level, vaccines are the best way to go — they are cheap and you can make billions of doses,” Schleifer said. “But our data now indicates that antibodies are the key player in the sense that they are sufficient.”

“You may not need cellular immunity. You may add something, but the antibodies are enough based on this data to protect you from contracting Covid-19,” he added.

Individuals with immunodeficiency diseases could eventually receive monoclonal Regeneron for up to five or six months, Schleifer said, and “will be protected as if they had been vaccinated.” He said the treatment could be given selectively to those at high risk of complications from Covid and essential workers who have concerns about immunization.

But Schleifer noted that he doesn’t think Regeneron can produce enough antibodies at an affordable price for widespread use as vaccines.

“If you’re in the military, you’re a teacher or you’re on the front lines and you legitimately have that fear, maybe this could be presented as an alternative. It’s something we have to discuss,” Schleifer said. “But the data — politics aside — the data suggests that antibodies can protect you from contracting Covid-19.”

Regeneron’s antibodies target the Covid spike protein to prevent the virus from penetrating cells, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The agency adds that the monoclonal antibodies “mimeticate the immune system’s ability to fight harmful pathogens”.

Regeneron isn’t the only company that has revealed promising data for treating Covid in recent weeks. Pfizer announced Friday that its anti-coronavirus pill reduces the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% for high-risk adults after combining the treatment with an HIV drug to help it stay longer in the body.

Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics also released data in October on the antiviral pill they said reduced Covid hospital admissions and deaths by 50% for patients with mild or moderate cases.

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