Infection protection: Regeneron acts quickly to get COVID-19 treatment to the masses
The eyes of the world were on Pfizer Monday for a COVID-19 treatment, but Westchester-based Regeneron is also in the thick of the fight against coronavirus.
Regeneron, which created the first drug to treat Ebola patients, is ramping up production on the same antibody cocktail that President Donald Trump says cured him after he got sick with the coronavirus last month.
The experimental treatment created by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals inside its Tarrytown labs is still unavailable to most Americans.
A company spokesperson says REGN-COV2 is still being tested on about 4,500 patients across the United States and South America with extremely promising results so far. This includes a large-scale trial that resulted in dramatically lower viral levels and doctor visits for patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
The monoclonal drug is designed to mimic the body's own immune system and block the virus from entering healthy cells.
"Unlike a vaccine that is intended to protect everyone, we're talking billions of people here, this is treatment that could be targeted for those patients that are sick," says Dr George Yancopoulos, Regeneron's co-founder.
The patient wait for emergency approval from the FDA could come any day and would bypass the typical yearlong wait to get a drug to the marketplace.
In the meantime, Dr. Yancopoulos says they've already begun scaling up manufacturing.
"We are on track to deliver 300,000 doses by end of this year," he says, with Regeneron looking to deliver about 200,000 doses a month come 2021.