Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) has achieved a significant milestone as the race for the next big thing in the treatment of coronavirus heats up. The U.S Foods and Drug Administration has granted the company emergency authorization for its experimental antibody treatment.
Regeneron Emergency Authorization
The treatment is a cocktail of two powerful antibodies that has proven to be highly effective in keeping the infection in check while also reducing medical visits in patients who get the drug early. The approval comes on the heels of Eli Lilly And Co NYSE: LLY also securing emergency approval early in the month.
However, the Regeneron treatment is limited in scope. For starters, it can only be administered to people above 12 years who have tested the virus and are at a high risk of developing severe COVID-19.
Amid the authorization, the big question is who will get access to the treatment. As it stands, the U.S is grappling with a ferocious second wave, with the death toll having climbed to over 250,000. More than 168,000 new cases are reported daily.
Regeneron has already stated that it only has enough drugs for about 80,000 people by the end of the month and enough doses for 200,000 people by the first week of January. The company plans to ramp up production to meet the growing need having already inked a strategic partnership with Swiss manufacturer Roche.
Regeneron has already received $500 million from the federal government to help accelerate the treatments’ manufacture. The first 300,000 doses are to be offered free of charged. However, patients will have to pay to have the treatment administered.
The emergency authorization has since been eclipsed with the confirmation of a COVID-19 vaccine that could be in the pipeline as early as next month. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) have already confirmed that their COVID-19 vaccine is 90% and 95% effective in combating the virus. The two companies are in the process of seeking emergency authorization for the vaccines.
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