As the world awaits a COVID-19 vaccine, the next big advance in battling the pandemic could be monoclonal antibodies, The New York Times reported on Monday.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals executive Christos Kyratsous said that "protection will wane over time. Dosing is something we don't know yet."
In June, the US government awarded a $450 million supply contract to Regeneron, which said it can immediately begin production at its US plant if regulators approve the treatment.
Meanwhile, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Amgen and GlaxoSmithKline were cleared by the US government to pool manufacturing resources in order to increase supplies if any of their drugs prove successful, with Eli Lilly chief scientific officer Dan Skovronsky noting that "if you need a higher dosage or more antibodies, fewer people can be treated."
Phil Pang, chief medical officer of Vir Biotechnology, which aims to start testing an antibody in non-hospitalised patients next month with partner GlaxoSmithKline, said that "in a prophylactic setting we think we may achieve coverage for up to six months."
Mark Brunswick, senior vice president at Sorrento Therapeutics, which aims to begin clinical trials next month of a single antibody candidate, said "the advantage of an antibody is that it is basically instant immunity," while Amgen research chief David Reese noted that "we are trying to develop something that is complementary."