The US Food and Drug Administration has expanded the use of Regeneron’s antibody therapy so it could be used as a preventative treatment for certain people who have been exposed to Covid-19, the company said on Friday.
The FDA’s expanded authorization will allow the antibody treatment to be used in people who are not fully vaccinated or are not expected to mount an adequate immune response after they have been exposed to someone who is infectious or for those who are at high risk of exposure to someone with Covid-19 in an institutional setting.
It is not authorized as a substitute for vaccination, the FDA said.
Regeneron’s late-stage trial data showed an 81% reduced risk of symptomatic infections in people who came into close contact with someone with Covid-19.
Regeneron’s antibody therapy is the only one that is currently authorized to be used both to treat and prevent Covid-19 infections. It was the treatment given to former President Trump when he became infected last year, as well as several other high-profile politicians.
The initial authorization allowed doctors to use the treatment for any patient who is 12 years old or older who tests positive for Covid-19 and is at high risk for severe disease, but is not yet hospitalized.
In May, the US stopped the distribution of Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody treatment since it didn’t seem to be as effective against virus variants.