In the midst of the global crisis of the COVID-19 and the perpetual efforts of several different pharmaceutical organizations across the world for the development of a potent vaccine against the fatal respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., using antibody technology, developed an antibody cocktail by accessing two entirely potent, nullifying monoclonal antibodies in order to mitigate the risk of the outgrowth of mutant virus.
The casirivimab and imdevimab injection is a cocktail, more commonly known as REGN-COV2 or REGEN-COV2, is developed by combining two monoclonal antibodies - REGN10933 and REGN10987, and was composed especially to prevent infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
To compose this novel antibody cocktail, Regeneron’s physicians and scientists assessed millions of humanized antibodies and ultimately selected two fully-human monoclonal antibodies, one taken from the mice which have been genetically mutated to have a human immune system, and another taken from human survivor who have recovered from COVID-19.
The two effective, virus-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies that assemble together to form the cocktail confines to the critical receptor binding domain of the virus's spike protein, which reduces the capacity of mutant viruses to evade treatment and safeguards against spike variants that have appeared in the human community.
Gratifyingly, Regeneron’s developed antibody cocktail, REGN-COV2, successfully received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), although it is yet going through phase III human trials. The president and chief executive officer of Regeneron, Leonard S. Schleifer expressed gratitude, saying that it is an extremely important step in the fight against COVID-19 and thankfully, high-risk patients in the United States will have the accessibility to assuring therapy early in the period of their infection. Notably, the former U.S. President Donald Trump was given a preliminary antibody treatment after a test showed that he is infected with SARS-CoV-2, along with mild symptoms including congestion and fever.
In the month of January 2021, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. signed a new pact with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to deliver additional supplies of the casirivimab and imdevimab antibody cocktail for the treatment of non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. As per the new agreement, the government will purchase 1.25 million finished doses of the antibody cocktail delivered by June, 2021.
Several other giants of the market are also aiming their focus on the development of antibody cocktails, which can be used as prophylactic against the fatal virus. For instance, an American pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly, is claiming its monoclonal antibody, bamlanivimab, could be an alternative not just to operate and cure COVID-19 but to help prevent it in defined circumstances.
Other than that, AstraZeneca also started its late-stage trials of an experimental long-acting monoclonal antibody combination drug, known as AZD7442, anticipating that it could be utilized as a preventive measure to treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus in people who are at-risk for up to 12 months.
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