Antibody drug cuts COVID-19 death risk by 70 percent

Antibody drug cuts COVID-19 death risk by 70 percent
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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 antibody treatment has proven in a clinical study to sharply reduce the risk of hospitalization or death among patients who test positive for the virus.

The company announced on its website that a trial involving more than 4,500 patients indicated that Regeneron's treatment reduced both risks by 70 percent.

The drug cocktail was also effective in shortening recovery time from two weeks to 10 days, according to the company's findings.

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All of the 4,567 patients involved in Regeneron's study had at least one risk factor that put them at a heightened risk of hospitalization or death from the disease, such as obesity or heart conditions, according to the company's website.

"With approximately 60,000 newly diagnosed individuals in the U.S. every day and 40,000 still in the hospital because of COVID-19, we are committed to working with the government, healthcare providers and others to support rapid and widespread adoption of REGEN-COV in appropriate patients," Regeneron's president, George Yancopoulos, said in a news release.

"These encouraging results confirm the rapid and significant antiviral effects of REGEN-COV, even at much lower and subcutaneous doses," added David Weinreich, Regeneron's head of global clinical development.

News of the effectiveness of Regeneron's treatment comes several months after Eli Lilly announced that its own antibody treatment had proven to be significantly effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 among staff and residents at nursing homes where the drug was tested.

The U.S. reported 650 deaths from COVID-19 on Monday and more than 55,000 new infections.