Another potentially life-saving treatment for hospitalized Covid-19 patients has been discovered by researchers at the University of Oxford.
The British study — part of the wider Recovery trial investigating various possible treatments for people hospitalized with coronavirus — found that an antibody combination made by Regeneron reduces the risk of death when given to patients with severe Covid who have not mounted a natural antibody response of their own.
The treatment uses a “cocktail” of two monoclonal antibodies (casirivimab and imdevimab, known as Regen-Cov in the U.S.) that bind specifically to two different sites on the coronavirus spike protein, neutralizing the ability of the virus to infect cells.
But in a small trial in hospitalized patients, preliminary evidence suggested a clinical benefit for patients who had not mounted a natural antibody response of their own (that is, they were seronegative) when they entered the trial.
This latest study is the first trial large enough to determine definitively whether this treatment reduces mortality in patients hospitalized with severe Covid.
The trial, which took place between September and May, involved 9,785 patients hospitalized with Covid.
For patients who were seronegative at the start of the study, the antibody combination significantly reduced their chances of dying by one-fifth compared with those receiving usual care alone (that is, 24% of patients in the antibody combination group died versus 30% of patients in the usual care group).
Thus, for every 100 such patients treated with the antibody combination, there would be six fewer deaths.