Multi-antibody cocktail therapy is being developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for the prevention and the treatment of COVID-19 infections by using its VelociMab® technology. Coronavirus display a glycoprotein called spike protein on their surface, which after binding to host cells spreads the infection. Regeneron intends to develop antibodies that are engineered to bind to these proteins leading to reduced interaction with host cells thereby neutralising the virus. The company will make a use its genetically modified VelocImmune® mice for the generation of fully human antibodies. Company has also isolated antibodies from the patients who have recovered from COVID-19 infections to have large pool of potent antibodies. Using multi-antibody approach, Regeneron plans to select top two antibodies for cocktail therapy that will bind to different parts of the virus protecting against different viral mutants. Preclinical development is underway in US.
VelociMab® technology utilises high throughput method to screen and identify antibodies specific to the target and allow rapid generation of cell line for recombinant human antibodies. By exploiting VelociMab® technology company is making manufacturing ready cell lines once lead antibodies are selected.
The lead candidate, REGN COV2 is in preclinical development for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 infections [see Adis Insight drug profile 800058539].
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals seeks partnership for the development of antibody cocktail therapy programme (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals website, March 2020).
Key Development Milestones
As of May 2020, antibody therapy programme is in preclinical development for the prevention and the treatment of COVID-19 infections  .
As at March 2020, company has a patents for genetically engineered mice capable of producing chimeric antibodies that are part human and part mouse in US and Europe