Researchers at UW Medicine and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are jointly testing monoclonal antibodies created by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to prevent COVID-19, and are starting to recruit patients.
The scientists are testing a double antibody cocktail called REGN-COV2 (REGN10933+REGN10987), which had favourable results in mouse models and a positive review of the Phase I safety evaluation in an initial cohort of 30 hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
The company announced favourable first data from a descriptive analysis showing the antibody cocktail reduced viral load and the time to alleviate symptoms in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19. REGN-COV2 also showed positive trends in reducing medical visits.
“Monoclonal antibodies are very promising,” said co-principal investigator Dr. Ruanne Barnabas, associate professor of global health and allergy and infectious diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
The prevention trial is recruiting 2,000 people at more than 100 sites across the United States.
The trial will evaluate REGN-COV2’s ability to prevent infection among uninfected people who have had close exposure to COVID-19 from a housemate or family member.
“As the globe surpasses 1 million reported deaths from COVID-19, it is clear that we need better tools to fight this infection,” said co-investigator Dr. Shelly Karuna with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network at Fred Hutch. “Monoclonal antibodies could help us achieve an end to the pandemic.”
Monoclonal antibodies are intended to provide immediate antiviral activity that lasts several weeks. A number of U.S. trials are testing monoclonal antibodies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, including an early treatment trial of the REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail starting soon at the Fred Hutch COVID-19 Clinical Research Center. UW Medicine’s AIDS Clinical Trial Unit is already conducting a treatment trial of other monoclonal antibodies.
To qualify for the prevention study, participants must have a confirmed household member test positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Participation involves at least 10 follow-up visits. Visits will be in-person and will include collection of blood and respiratory swab samples, medical history and exams, and monitor and report symptoms and temperature. Participants will be reimbursed at the completion of each visit.
“This is an exciting opportunity to get an investigational monoclonal antibody at Harborview Medical Center that could prevent COVID-19,” said Barnabas.
Source: University of Washington