American biotech company Regeneron and Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche are joining forces to increase the supply of Regeneron’s antibody therapy to fight Covid-19.
Under the collaboration, Regeneron is expected to increase its capacity for the antibody cocktail by at least three and a half times, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The agreement will also allow Roche to distribute the antibody cocktail outside of the United States once it is approved for distribution in those markets.
Both Roche and Regeneron will manufacture the antibody therapy, which was originally created by Regeneron scientists. The companies will jointly fund and carry out the ongoing Phase 3 trial and the Phase 1 safety studies.
What is the therapy? The treatment is a double antibody cocktail called REGN-COV2.
Antibodies are proteins the body naturally makes to protect itself from a threat like Covid-19. Scientists combed through thousands of antibodies to figure out which ones fight the novel coronavirus most effectively.
In this case, Regeneron's scientists picked two antibodies, scaled them up and put them into a medicine that it hopes can be used to treat symptoms and possibly even work as preventative protection.
The drug is currently in late-stage clinical trials. Regeneron said in its shareholder call last quarter that it expects results from the trials sometime in September.
If the trials show positive results, Roche will be largely responsible for getting regulatory approval to distribute the drug internationally, and for carrying out any extra studies that might be required outside the US.