An antibody drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. reduced the risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 infection by 81% compared with a placebo in people living with someone infected by the new coronavirus, a study found.
The results point to potential new preventive applications for the drug, which is already in use to treat earlier Covid-19 cases.
Regeneron said Monday it would ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expand the drug’s authorization among people exposed to the virus who haven’t yet been vaccinated, which could provide temporary stopgap protection as people await vaccines.
So far, 21.3% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, and 35.3% has received at least one shot.
“With more than 60,000 Americans continuing to be diagnosed with Covid-19 every day, the REGEN-COV antibody cocktail may help provide immediate protection to unvaccinated people who are exposed to the virus,” said George D. Yancopoulos, Regeneron’s president and chief scientific officer.