SEATTLE — Researchers at UW Medicine are partnering with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to lead a study of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' antibody cocktail as a way to prevent COVID-19 infections.
The researchers are currently recruiting patients for the study.
The same experimental Regeneron Pharmaceuticals cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies was used on President Donald Trump after he became infected.
“It’s the same antibody cocktail, that can be used for both prevention and treatment,” said Dr. Ruanne Barnabas, co-principal investigator and associate professor of Global Health and Allergy and Infectious Diseases at University of Washington School of Medicine. “But trials for both prevention and treatment are ongoing.”
The trial, which also includes 100 additional sites and plans to recruit 2,000 patients, is focused on helping people stay healthy after a close member in their own household becomes sick with COVID-19. The antibody cocktail is called REGN-COV2.
If that’s the case, why not use this antibody in lieu of vaccines, a number of which are in the final trial phases?
Dr. Barnabas said, “These antibodies last for a short time, for a number of weeks. But a vaccine will teach our bodies to make these antibodies that will last for years. That’s the plan.”
The presumption is someone given the cocktail would have enough antibodies immediately to last long enough to get through their housemates' infection.
"Monoclonal antibodies could help us achieve an end to the pandemic," said Dr. Shelly Karuna with Fred Hutch in a statement.
People wanting to participate in the study must have a confirmed household member test positive for COVID-19 to qualify. To learn more about getting involved call (206) 773-7129 or visit the UW Medicine website.