Surging US demand triggers new $2.9B purchase of Regeneron's Covid-19 antibodies
Regeneron has received a new $2.9 billion order for its Covid-19 antibody cocktail as demand for monoclonal antibodies surges in the US amid a spike in cases.
The US government is purchasing 1.4 million additional doses of REGEN-COV, a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab, at a price of $2,100 for each 1,200mg dose — bringing the total purchase to nearly 3 million doses.
This marks the third supply deal Regeneron has scored in the US.
Under emergency use authorizations by the FDA, REGEN-COV is being used to treat infected patients to lower their risk of hospitalization or death, and for post-exposure prophylaxis for close contacts of infected individuals.
“More than a year and a half into this pandemic, too many people are still being hospitalized and dying due to COVID-19,” Regeneron CEO Len Schleifer said in a statement. “While vaccination remains the first line of defense to decrease the burden of COVID-19, REGEN-COV is a key tool that reduces the risk of hospitalization or death by 70% in high-risk individuals when given early in the course of the infection.”
Utilization of the treatment started off slow. In July — almost eight months after REGEN-COV was first granted an EUA — sites around the country were collectively ordering about 25,000 doses per week. And that was during a time that shipments of Eli Lilly’s antibodies were halted nationwide, meaning REGEN-COV and GlaxoSmithKline/Vir’s sotrovimab were the only options available.
But by late August, that number for Regeneron shot up to 125,000, and states where infections were skyrocketing, such as Florida or Texas, set up new infusion centers to administer the drugs.
According to official data, 179 million people are fully vaccinated in the US, translating to a 54.5% vaccination rate, although the actual rate varies depending on location. Children or adolescents under the age of 12 remain ineligible for any shots.
Regeneron expects to begin sending its new REGEN-COV doses to the US government stockpile almost immediately, and have the vast majority delivered in Q4. Roche, its manufacturing partner primarily responsible for ex-US distribution, will produce around one third of the doses in this agreement.
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