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Regeneron Begins Human Testing of 'Virus Cocktail'

Regeneron begins testing of a "virus cocktail" on humans, saying "the world needs multiple solutions for covid-19."

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals  (REGN) - Get Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report said it began human testing of its experimental antibody cocktail to treat the coronavirus.

Shares of the Tarrytown, N.Y., biopharma at last check rose 1.7% to $617.

The treatment, REGN-COV2, is described as "an investigational dual antibody cocktail" designed to prevent and treat covid-19.  

The company said that the program will consist of four study groups: hospitalized covid-19 patients; non-hospitalized symptomatic covid-19 patients; uninfected people in groups that are at high-risk of exposure, such as healthcare workers or first responders; and uninfected people with close exposure to covid-19 patients.

Regeneron said it also would conduct placebo trials.

Regeneron Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos said in a statement that "REGN-COV2 could have a major impact on public health by slowing spread of the virus and providing a needed treatment for those already sick – and could be available much sooner than a vaccine."

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"The antibody cocktail approach may also have long-term utility for elderly and immunocompromised patients, who often do not respond well to vaccines," he said.

Ultimately, Yancopoulos added, "the world needs multiple solutions for covid-19."

Regeneron said it used the same "rapid response" capabilities and cocktail approach to develop REGN-EB3, a novel triple antibody treatment for Ebola that is now under regulatory review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

The company's stock has soared in recent months as investors have bet that Regeneron’s efforts to produce a Covid-19 cocktail treatment will prove successful.

Several companies have been working on a coronavirus treatment or vaccine, including Altimmune  (ALT) - Get Altimmune, Inc. Report, AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Astrazeneca PLC Sponsored ADR Report, and Merck  (MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Report.

Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Report recently said that it would begin its early human trial for a potential vaccine in the second half of July.