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RECOVERY trial to evaluate new monoclonal antibody combination treatment

Published: 14 September 2020

The NIHR-supported RECOVERY trial has today announced the inclusion of a new investigational antiviral antibody treatment, REGN-COV2. It is the first specifically designed COVID-19 drug to be investigated through the UK’s flagship trial into COVID-19 treatments among hospitalised patients.

The phase 3 randomised trial will compare the effects of adding Regeneron’s lab-manufactured monoclonal antibody combination treatment, REGN-COV2 to the usual standard-of-care, against standard-of-care on its own. The research team will evaluate the drug’s impact on mortality, hospital stays and the need for ventilation.

Monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that act like human antibodies in the immune system. REGN-COV2 comprises two monoclonal antibodies (REGN10933 and REGN10987) and was designed specifically by Regeneron scientists to block infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said:

“Funded by the UK NIHR and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), RECOVERY is globally recognised as the largest and the most successful COVID-19 platform trial to date. Today’s news is another promising step in the search to find effective treatments, which will improve our ability to deal with this destructive virus, and a testament to the confidence that others around the world have in this brilliantly conceived and executed trial. We’ve had some crucial results from RECOVERY so far, including the life-saving treatment dexamethasone and, as importantly, confirmation that other drugs do not work.

“I look forward to seeing how REGN-COV2 performs in clinical trials, and I urge people to volunteer in this research which could ultimately save many lives.”

Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford and chief investigator of the trial, said:

“The RECOVERY trial was specifically designed so that when promising investigational drugs such as REGN-COV2 became available they can be tested quickly. We are looking forward to seeing whether REGN-COV2 is safe and effective in the context of a large-scale randomised clinical trial; this is the only way to be certain about whether it works as a treatment for COVID-19.”

Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, added:

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen the power of randomised trials to provide rigorous assessment of potential treatments. Up to now, we have largely been studying whether existing drugs can be repurposed to tackle this new disease, but we now have the opportunity to rigorously assess the impact of a drug specifically designed to target this coronavirus. There are good reasons to be excited about this new development – RECOVERY will provide a robust assessment of the effect of this lab-manufactured monoclonal antibody combination treatment in hospitalised patients.”

About the RECOVERY trial

The RECOVERY trial is jointly funded by the NIHR and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), with research delivery supported by the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network at 176 hospital sites across the UK. The trial is being coordinated by researchers at the University of Oxford, which acts as the sponsor for the research.

With NIHR support, to date the trial has recruited over 12,000 participants - making it the world's largest trial of potential COVID-19 treatments.

To find out more, visit the RECOVERY trial website.

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