Treatment of infectious disease with single monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) can exert a selective pressure that potentially increases the possibility of mutational escape of the targeted antigen. This risk can be reduced through the combination of multiple mAbs targeting non-overlapping epitopes. In this preprint, Baum et al. show the protective effects of REGN-COV2, a cocktail of two fully humanized mAbs that bind to different regions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Rhesus macaques and golden hamsters treated with REGN-COV2 have markedly lower levels of detectable sub-genomic viral mRNA in both prophylactic and therapeutic settings. In rhesus macaques, the mRNA decrease is evident in oral and nasopharyngeal swabs, as well as in bronchoalveolar lavage. Combined-phase clinical trials for REGN-COV2 are underway.
Baum, A. et al. REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail prevents and treats SARS-CoV-2 infection in rhesus macaques and hamsters. Preprint at bioRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.02.233320 (2020)
The author declares no competing interests.
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Matthews, D.B. A cocktail of antibodies for COVID-19 therapy. Nat Rev Immunol 20, 591 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-020-00431-9