US President Donald Trump on Wednesday posted a video in which he claimed he was cured of the coronavirus disease after being treated with an experimental therapy from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.
After he was seen hailing it as life saver in the video, patients of Covid-19 from across the country have asked to join clinical trials of the antibody-based Regeneron. The drugs company said it has asked federal regulators to authorise its antibody treatment for Covid-19 for emergency use.
What is Regeneron?
REGN-COV2, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies, was designed specifically to block infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, according to a Mint report.
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“To develop REGN-COV2, Regeneron scientists evaluated thousands of fully-human antibodies produced by the company’s VelocImmune mice, which have been genetically modified to have a human immune system, as well as antibodies identified from humans who have recovered from Covid-19,” a statement issued by the pharma company said.
Trump received the antibody cocktail last Friday under a compassionate use program.
Late last month, Regeneron reported preliminary results from a trial showing that the cocktail could reduce virus levels in coronavirus patients outside of the hospital.
Free drug for all Americans
Regeneron has said it currently has doses available for approximately 50,000 patients and expects to have doses available for 300,000 patients within the next few months.
The company said in a statement that under its agreement with the US government, the latter would be responsible for the distribution of the drug and would have to make the initial doses available to the American people free of cost if an emergency authorization is granted by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Donald Trump’s health
Donald Trump’s physician said the President’s blood samples from Monday show that he had protective antibodies, but according to the pharmaceutical company, those were likely the Regeneron antibodies given to him at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and not a natural response.
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Meanwhile, US infectious disease chief Dr Anthony Fauci has pointed out that we do not know if the president is well, because patients’ condition can go downhill more than a week after showing the first symptoms.
However, White House physician Dr Sean Conley said that the President should be able to return to public engagements as early as Saturday, according to news agency Bloomberg. Trump, who was infected with the virus a week ago, returned to the White House on Monday. He has even said he feels well and hopes to hold an election rally on Saturday.
(with agency inputs)
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