Matt Hancock: There is proof new coronavirus drug saves lives
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Coronavirus is known to cause severe symptoms leading to hospitalisation in some cases. Because of the risk this virus poses, prevention and extra protection are vital. Pharmaceutical company Regeneron is trying to provide exactly this with their product, which is supposed to slash the risk of contracting the virus by more than 80 percent.
The antibody cocktail linked to protection lasting for two to eight months is called REGEN-COV.
The pharmaceutical company says it’s supposed to cut your risk of contracting COVID-19 by 81.6 percent to be exact.
Research shows that none of the people given the new treatment were hospitalised compared to five people who were only on a placebo.
REGEN-COV was authorised a year ago solely for emergency use to treat people with mild-to-moderate cases of Covid in the US.
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The combo therapy has now expanded. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now approved the drug as a preventive treatment as well.
The latest trial data suggest that a single dose of this antibody mix can lower the risk of the virus between two and eight months after the drug is administered.
The new data shows that only seven people in the treatment group developed Covid compared to 38 in the placebo group.
The FDA previously explained that REGEN-COV is not a replacement for the vaccine, but can be used in combination with the jab for people who develop a weak immune response to the vaccine.
“Today’s new data demonstrate how a single dose of REGEN-COV can help protect people from COVID-19 for many months after administration,” said doctor Myron S. Cohen, who leads the monoclonal antibody efforts for the COVID Prevention Network sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, in a statement.
“These results demonstrate that REGEN-COV has the potential to provide long-lasting immunity from SARS-CoV-2 infection, a result particularly important to those who do not respond to COVID-19 vaccines including people who are immunocompromised.”
What exactly is REGEN-COV?
The antibody cocktail is a combination of two drugs: casirivimab and imdevimab.
Both of the drugs are so-called “monoclonal antibodies”, proteins made in a laboratory that mimic the immune system.
These lab-made antibodies target the spike protein, which the virus uses to enter and infect cells.
Unlike the traditional jab which helps your immune system to get activated and develop its own antibodies, this drug delivers virus-fighting antibodies into your body.
REGEN-COV reduces the risk of symptomatic infections by 72 percent in the first week and 93 percent after one month, according to trial data.
The use of this drug as a prophylactic -precaution- can help lower the risk of infection for patients who are at high risk of exposure to Covid like nursing homes or prisons.
It can also be beneficial for those with weakened immune systems.
The latest trial looked at 1,683 participants. Half were given a 1,200-milligram dose of REGEN-COV and the other half were given a placebo.
Seven people, who were on the drug, developed coronavirus compared to 38 people in the placebo group between two and eight months later.
The researchers say this data was translated into the efficacy of 81.6 percent against the infection.
The trial also saw no hospitalizations in the treatment group compared to six in the placebo group.
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