Covid-19: Westchester-Based Company Wins $450M 'Warp Speed' Contract For Potential Treatment

Westchester-based Regeneron has landed a $450 million federal contract to produce a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cocktail that is already nearing the final stages of clinical trials.

Regeneron Pharmaceutical in Westchester.

Regeneron Pharmaceutical in Westchester.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which is located in Tarrytown, has been tasked with creating a cocktail that would include a mixture of antibodies that could help keep those infected by the virus from getting sicker and keep healthy people from getting sick.

The anti-viral antibody cocktail is part of Operation Warp Speed for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Vaccines, which prompt the body to fight an infection in the future, also are being researched as part of Warp Speed.

The cocktail, dubbed REGN-COV2, is a combination of one human antibody and one mouse antibody that have each proved particularly effective against battling the COVID-19 virus.

According to Regeneron, the virus would have to mutate in two directions at once to defeat it.

The cocktail is currently in the second of three phases of clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19 and in the third phase trial for the prevention of COVID-19 infection.

It is believed that the initial doses of the cocktail could be ready for public consumption by the end of the summer. The company said the clinical program is evaluating multiple dosages to establish the number of exact treatment doses it will produce.

It is estimated that a batch to be produced could yield 70,000 to 300,000 potential treatment doses or 420,000 to 1.3 million prevention doses.

“Regeneron's 30 years of investment in our innovative VelociSuite antibody discovery and development technologies and our large-scale manufacturing facilities, coupled with the expertise and passion of our people, has enabled us to move the REGN-COV2 program forward at remarkable speed," Leonard Schleifer, co-founder, President, and CEO of Regeneron said in a statement.

"We made the decision early on to begin large-scale manufacturing at our own risk in order to ensure that product would be available immediately if our clinical trials prove successful and an Emergency Use Authorization is granted,” he continued.

“This manufacturing and supply agreement with BARDA and the Department of Defense could help REGN-COV2 reach many people quickly, hopefully helping to change the course of this deadly and still-raging pandemic."

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