A monoclonal antibody combination of casirivimab and imdevimab (REGEN-COV) significantly reduced the risk of COVID-19–related hospitalizations and death from any cause in the phase 3 portion of an adaptive trial of outpatients.
Researchers, led by David Weinreich, MD, MBA, executive vice president of the drug cocktail’s manufacturer Regeneron, found in the randomized trial that the combination also resolved symptoms and reduced the SARS-CoV-2 viral load more quickly compared with placebo.
COVID-related hospitalization or death from any cause occurred in 18 of 1355 patients (1.3%) in the group getting 2400 mg infusions of the study drug compared with 62 (4.6%) of 1341 in the matching placebo group, indicating a relative risk reduction of 71.3%.
Sunil Joshi, MD, president of the Duval County Medical Society Foundation and an immunologist in Jacksonville, Florida, told Medscape Medical News that these findings confirm benefits of REGEN-COV and are very good news for a patient group that includes those age 65 and older with high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity; and for people not vaccinated, who are all at high risk of hospitalization or death if they get COVID-19.
“Vaccines are critically important,” he said, “but if you were to be infected and know that there’s a way to keep yourself out of the hospital, this is very good news.”