Regeneron (REGN) Antibody Cocktail Is Active Against SARS-CoV-2 UK and South Africa Variants
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Columbia University researchers and Regeneron have independently confirmed findings; data included in bioRxiv paper and submitted for peer-reviewed publication
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced that researchers in Dr. David Ho's Columbia University lab and Regeneron scientists have independently confirmed that REGEN-COVTM (casirivimab and imdevimab antibody cocktail) successfully neutralizes the circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants first identified in the UK (B.1.1.7) and South Africa (B.1.351). Columbia's findings were included in a paper posted to bioRxiv and submitted for peer-reviewed publication on the changing resistance of SARS-CoV-2 variants to antibody neutralization.
Both teams of researchers assessed in vitro neutralization potency of numerous COVID-19 antibodies (including those that have received emergency authorization and those still in development) against various mutated strains of the virus. Although some antibody therapies were no longer effective against some of these variants, the REGEN-COV antibody cocktail continued to neutralize all variants tested. REGEN-COV, which consists of the highly potent neutralizing antibodies imdevimab (REGN10987) and casirivimab (REGN10933), retained its potent neutralizing capability against the B.1.1.7 variant, with both antibodies retaining their potency. REGEN-COV also retained its highly potent neutralizing capacity against the B.1.351 variant; imdevimab retained its potency against this variant, and, while casirivimab potency was reduced, it was still comparable to the potency that other single antibodies in development have against the original virus.
The variant first identified in Brazil (1.1.248) and recently seen in a patient in the United States contains the same receptor binding domain mutations as the B.1.351 variant, therefore REGEN-COV is expected to remain similarly potent. Regeneron is conducting additional preclinical research against this particular strain to confirm this.
"As we expected, the virus continues to mutate, and these data show the continued ability of REGEN-COV to neutralize emerging strains, further validating our multi-antibody cocktail approach to infectious diseases," said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer at Regeneron. "With two complimentary antibodies in one therapeutic, even if one has reduced potency, the risk of the cocktail losing efficacy is significantly diminished, since the virus would need to mutate in multiple distinct locations to evade both antibodies. Thanks to our proprietary VelocImmune® technology, we have hundreds of additional potent, neutralizing antibodies in our labs that could form new combinations that might be useful against future variants. We are evaluating potential next steps with these novel candidates."
"In the face of this daunting pandemic, we appreciate the open exchange of pre-publication data and the opportunity to confirm important findings with one of the world's leading academic laboratories," said Christos A. Kyratsous, Ph.D., Vice President of Research, Infectious Diseases and Viral Vector Technologies at Regeneron.
The development and manufacturing of REGEN-COV has been funded in part with federal funds from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, under OT number: HHSO100201700020C.
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