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Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) looks at the neutralising antibody cocktail, REGN-COV-2, in outpatients with COVID-19.

Please note that at the time of writing this comment only the abstract of the paper was available:

Prof Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, said:

“The neutralizing antibody drugs are among the most promising treatments for COVID-19.  They have been developed to bind very specifically to the spike protein on SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19) and consequently to prevent it entering cells and multiplying as well as to increase the speed at which it is cleared from the body.  In other words, to reduce ‘viral load’.

“These latest results published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that the combination of antibodies developed by Regeneron is effective in reducing viral load and that, as one might expect, is particularly effective among patients who had not mounted a robust antibody response of their own.  The patients in the study had relatively mild disease – they were not in hospital.

“The good news is that this treatment is doing exactly what it was designed to do – reducing the amount of virus in patients with COVID-19.  The key question that remains though is whether that translates into meaningful benefits for patients.  For that, we will need the results of much bigger trials: In the UK, the RECOVERY trial is assessing whether REGN-COV2 shortens hospital stay, reduces the need for a mechanical ventilator, and improves the chances of survival.  Already, over 1,700 of the target 4,000 patients have been enrolled into the comparison of REGN-COV2 vs. usual standard of care as part of RECOVERY.  Results are anticipated in the first quarter of 2021.

“Note: These comments are based on a review of the abstract.  I look forward to reading the full paper when it is published.”

‘REGN-COV2, a neutralising antibody cocktail, in outpatients with Covid-19’ by D. M. Weinreich et al. was published in the New England Journal of Medicine at 22:00 UK time on Thursday 17 December 2020.

DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2035002

Declared interests

Prof Martin Landray: “Co-chief Investigator, RECOVERY trial.

– RECOVERY trial ( is funded by UKRI and NIHR; Abbvie, Roche, and Regeneron have all contributed supplies of treatment for the study.

– Research funding to University of Oxford received from Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Merck Sharp & Dohme.

– Infrastructure and core funding received from Health Data Research UK, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, UK Biobank Ltd, MRC Population Health Research Unit, and British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence.

– Employee of University of Oxford with salary supported by Li Ka Shing Foundation, Health Data Research UK, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Wellcome Trust, and National Health Service.

– I do not accept personal honoraria payments directly or indirectly from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or food industries although reimbursement to the University of Oxford for the costs of travel and accommodation to participate in scientific meetings may be accepted. I hold no shares in and receive no consultancy payments directly or indirectly from tobacco, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or food companies. I comply with the Independence of Research Policy of the Nuffield Department of Population Health, Universityy of Oxford. For details see:”

MIL OSI United Kingdom