Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said an experimental antibody treatment for Covid-19 could be available as soon as this fall, an expedited timeline for a drug that’s scheduled to be studied in humans for the first time in June.
To meet the fall time line will “depend on a lot of factors,” including whether the treatment works as well as hoped, “and there is obviously a lot of risk,” Regeneron Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos said Tuesday on a conference call with investors. “We’ve sort of done it before but now we are trying to take it to the next level.”
The therapy consists of a cocktail of two antibodies, which are manufactured versions of proteins that would typically be produced as part of an immune response to a virus. Regeneron’s treatment and other similar drugs in development are considered highly promising for the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Studies of the drug in people will begin this summer.
Other companies developing antibody drugs for the new coronavirus are also moving quickly. They include AstraZeneca, Vir Biotechnology, Eli Lilly & Co. and biotech partner AbCellera Biologics, and several academic labs.