Doctor explains Regeneron treatment--the antibody cocktail President Trump took

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 5:44 PM CDT
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One week ago President Trump announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, the treatment he received has been making headlines.

According to the White House, President Donald Trump received several different types of treatment for COVID-19.

One an antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron, which is not yet FDA approved.

“It’s called a cocktail because it’s actually two antibodies combined together,” said Dr. Raymund Razonable, the Mayo Clinic principal investigator for the Regeneron study.

The treatment hopes to block the virus from entering cells.

While President Trump has been outspoken in his desire for the drug to be available to the public for free, doctors say it would be expensive and is not considered a cure... yet.

“It’s called a passive immunity. So, we give immunity to patients before they develop it,” Razonable explained. “It’s not long-lasting, it will last maybe a month or so.”

The drug company is currently looking to enroll 1,300 patients for phase three of its international clinical trial.

“Patients who get admitted to the hospital are assessed for potential participation going through the strict inclusion and exclusion criteria,” added Razonable.

That criteria includes testing positive for COVID-19, being symptomatic, and not critically ill.

Some believe the drug contains stem cells derived from aborted fetal tissue.

However, Dr. Raymund Razonable, a principal investigator of the study, says that is not the case.

“The cells, they are in the lab-- they are not part of the product that is getting infused,” Razonable said.

While proteins were initially isolated from human B cells in the lab, now the study is using standard Chinese hamster ovary cells, according to Mayo Clinic.

President Trump touting his results can be difficult for scientists as one case does not determine effectiveness, but there is a silver lining.

“With the President kind of mentioning this maybe people will be more willing to participate and if they are that means the faster we will know the results,” Razonable mentioned.

Clinical trial patients are not guaranteed the results the President had as typically half of participants receive placebo.

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