Trump takes Regeneron’s experimental antibodies hours after COVID-19 diagnosis
In a bombshell development Thursday, President Donald J. Trump tested positive for COVID-19, sending shockwaves through the country with just weeks until Election Day. One unanswered question was how the president’s physicians would navigate an uncertain treatment course—and an unproven antibody cocktail from Regeneron is now in the spotlight.
Trump’s personal doctor confirmed Friday that the president was treated with an 8-gram dose of Regeneron’s investigational antibody cocktail for COVID-19, dubbed REGN-COV2, along with aspirin and famotidine, better known as branded Pepcid. He’s also taking zinc and vitamin D, two typical immune-boosting supplements.
Regeneron’s polyclonal antibodies are one of few potential therapies for COVID-19 that have shown promise in clinical trials. Last week, Regeneron posted early results from an adaptive phase 1/2/3 study showing the therapy lowered virus levels and relieved symptoms more quickly than standardcare in patients infected with COVID-19 but not sick enough to be hospitalized.
After testing positive for COVID-19 late Thursday, Trump was reportedly set to be taken to Walter Reed Medical Center late Friday afternoon “out of an abundance of caution” and with “mild symptoms,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told pool reporters.
Trump’s early treatment with Regeneron’s cocktail was an immediate boon for investors with the drugmaker’s stock trading up around $20—or 3%—in after-market hours Friday.
Both Regeneron and Eli Lilly had previously declined to say whether Trump would be treated with either one of their investigational cocktails, the New York Times reported.
Unlike another highly touted COVID-19 hopeful, Gilead Sciences’s Veklury (remdesivir), REGN-COV2 has no emergency use approvals anywhere in the world—a fact that could underscore Trump’s relationship with New York-based Regeneron and CEO Len Schleifer, who has been a guest at the White House during the pandemic. The company said late Friday that Trump’s doctors had requested the therapy under its compassionate use program.