Regeneron Antibody Saves Lives In Some Hospitalized Covid Pa
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The monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid-19 developed by Regeneron saved lives among hospitalized patients who had not mounted their own immune response, a finding that could dramatically change the way that doctors will use the therapy, researchers said. The new data mark the first time that a medicine that works by fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been shown to reduce mortality.

The new study, randomly assigned 9,785 patients to receive either the Regeneron antibody cocktail or usual care. Doctors were allowed to give all patients standard treatments like the steroid dexamethasone and the antiviral remdesivir. The main analysis was in only about a third of the total number of patients who tested negative for antibodies to Covid-19.

In these so-called seronegative patients, who were infected but who had not mounted their own antibody response, the benefit was dramatic. The addition of the monoclonal antibody cocktail reduced the percentage of patients who died from 30% to 24%. That is a 20% relative reduction. It means that for every 100 patients who were treated with the antibody cocktail, six fewer died.

There was other evidence the antibody cocktail helped these seronegative patients. Their duration of hospital stay was reduced from 17 days to 13 days, and the proportion who left the hospital within 28 days increased from 58% to 64%. This benefit was more dramatic because these seronegative patients were in general more likely to die than those who did mount an antibody response. The mortality rate among these so-called seropositive patients was only 15%.

But in the seropositive patients, there was no benefit from the antibody cocktail. When both groups were combined, death within 28 days occurred in 20% of patients who received the antibody cocktail and 21% of those who received usual care but not the antibody. The researcher compared this phenomenon to vitamin deficiency while cautioning the analogy is imperfect. “If your vitamin levels are fine, taking more vitamins is expensive but useless. If you’re vitamin deficient, getting vitamins is lifesaving,” he said.

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