Biotech company Regeneron, which has a major industrial operations centre in Limerick, has begun human trials of a new antibody cocktail for Covid-19.
It is part of an ambitious clinical-testing plan that could lead to a new treatment option by the end of summer if all goes well. In a statement, the company said it will test a two-antibody combination in a wide variety of people, including those already sick with Covid-19, as well as healthy people at high risk of being exposed to the virus.
Headquartered in New York, Regeneron employs more than 1,000 people in the former Dell factory in Raheen.
Their facility in Limerick manufactures a range of biopharmaceuticals for patients worldwide, including the company’s approved therapeutic proteins and those involved in clinical studies.
“Our data suggests putting together multiple antibodies could really be the key to having a major impact on the virus,” George Yancopoulos, the company’s co-founder and chief scientific officer, said in an interview.
He said lab studies that Regeneron plans to publish soon show the coronavirus will quickly develop resistance to a single antibody-based treatment, but that when multiple antibodies are combined the virus doesn’t fight them off.
Additional reporting Bloomberg