Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced on Saturday that the antibody cocktail that President Donald Trump was given when he contracted COVID-19, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The antibody cocktail containing Casirivimab and imdevimab, known as REGEN-COV2, is now authorized for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults, as well as in pediatric patients at least 12 years of age and weighing at least 40 kg, who have received positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.
As part of Operation Warp Speed, in July the U.S. government and Regeneron signed an agreement for this initial supply of REGEN-COV2. The U.S. government will coordinate with state authorities to allocate REGEN-COV2 on a weekly basis based on the number of COVID-19 cases in each state. The government has committed to providing these 300,000 doses at no cost to patients, although healthcare facilities may charge fees related to administration. Regeneron will immediately begin shipping REGEN-COV2 to Amerisource Bergen, a national distributor, which will distribute the therapy as directed by the government.
The clinical evidence from Regeneron’s outpatient trial suggests that monoclonal antibodies such as REGEN-COV2 have the greatest benefit when given early after diagnosis and in patients who have not yet mounted their own immune response or who have high viral load.
The criteria for ‘high-risk’ patients are described in the Fact Sheet for Health Care Providers. Casirivimab and imdevimab are not authorized for use in patients who are hospitalized or require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, or for people currently using chronic oxygen therapy because of an underlying comorbidity who require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19.
“This FDA Emergency Use Authorization is an important step in the fight against COVID-19, as high-risk patients in the United States will have access to a promising therapy early in the course of their infection,” said Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Regeneron. “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.”