The experimental antibody drug combines two human neutralizing antibodies that can help fight against the virus.
After announcing that he has contracted the novel coronavirus, US President Donald Trump’s doctor said that he has received an experimental antibody drug for coronavirus. It’s being developed by Regeneron.
In addition to the said drug, other drugs were given to him such as vitamin D, zinc, and Pepcid, which is a heartburn treatment.
The president is currently at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He’s expected to stay in this hospital for a few days.
While recuperating, the president will continue his work since he’s staying in a presidential suite equipped with devices that let him carry out his official duties.
Update: On October 5, the president was discharged. He was at the White House a few hours later. But before arriving at WH, he tweeted not to be afraid of COVID. He said that Americans must not allow the virus to dominate their lives.
It seems that the experimental antibody drug is working for him. Of course, not all Americans can afford it.
Experimental Antibody Drug REGN-COV2
Regeneron announced in July that the experimental antibody drug is entering the late stages of human trials. The trials aim to find out if the drug is effective at treating and preventing COVID-19.
Targeting the Protein of the Virus
The said drug is a combination of two antibodies. It works by targeting the virus’s protein. This protein is used to invade human cells.
The trial would have 2,000 patients in the US as subjects.
This drug, if successful, will be available sooner than a vaccine. Regeneron announced that the experimental antibody drug is being tested if it could treat hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients infected by COVID-19.
Scientists from Regeneron examined thousands of antibiotics from genetically modified mice and humans. They identified the two antibodies that could have the potential to fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus without the need to compete against each other.
Regeneron is using a strategy that decreases the chances of the virus from mutating.
An infectious disease specialist sees the result as promising. The data has no safety concerns yet. The initial data also looks good.
The drug seems safe. It may help in decreasing the virology load. It may lower fewer symptoms and fewer hospitalizations.
However, the biotechnology company will still need to enroll many patients to investigate it further.
What is the Cocktail Approach?
It’s a kind of therapy that utilizes two or more antibodies, which are engineered in the laboratory.
The cocktail involves a monoclonal antibody, which targets the spike protein. This spike protein, as mentioned earlier, is used by the virus to get into the human cells.
Another antibody is being used to target another part of the novel coronavirus. With these two antibodies, viral replication can be trapped and shut down.
This type of approach makes sense. It gives the patient antibodies that could be helping the immune system. However, peer review is needed to explore any traps and holes.
It’s still early to judge the drug’s effectiveness. The company hasn’t released any scientific data yet, rather it has released a press release about the drug.
Some experts are skeptical about it because it says more about the stock price and not about science.
Nevertheless, this experimental antibody drug could be a real help in patients who can’t generate an immune response to a vaccine.
It is also useful while we’re transitioning. That is, while we’re waiting for the safe vaccine.
However, Regeneron isn’t the sole company in this challenge. Many companies are also working on an antibody treatment. There are 70 antibody treatments being investigated today.
Business as Usual for Trump
It’s still business as usual for Trump. According to his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, the president is in good spirits with mild symptoms. He continues to work throughout the day.
The team of experts is evaluating the president and the first lady. Barron, on the other hand, has been tested negative for the virus, even though he lives at the White House.
What do you think of this story? Do you think that the experimental antibody drug is the solution we’ve been waiting for? Please let us know in the comments below.
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