April 12 (UPI) -- Regeneron said Monday it will ask the Food and Drug Administration to expand emergency use authorization for its antibody drug to be used as a preventative treatment against COVID-19.
The drugmaker said late-stage clinical trials showed that its REG-COV antibody treatment was 72% effective in protecting household contacts from exposure to symptomatic COVID-19 in the first week and 93% effective in the following weeks.
"These data suggest that REGEN-COV can complement widespread vaccination strategies, particularly for those at high-risk of infection," Dr. Myron Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina, said in a statement.
Cohen said the treatment has been shown to retain its potency against emerging COVID-19 variants.
"If authorized, convenient subcutaneous administration of REGEN-COV could help control outbreaks in high-risk settings where individuals have not yet been vaccinated, including individual households and group living settings," Cohen added.
Dr. Dan H. Barouch co-principal investigator of the trial and Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said Regeneron's trials showed that the antibody has also shown to be an effective treatment after exposure.
"The rapid and robust protection, together with the subcutaneous route of administration, support the practical utility of these antibodies in protecting against COVID-19 in multiple settings, including after high-risk exposures," Barouch said.