The alliance of the Swiss laboratory Roche and the American biotech Regeneron in the fight against Covid-19 seems to be bearing fruit. Results from a phase III study show a 70% reduction in hospitalizations or deaths in patients who received a combination of two antiviral antibodies, compared to those who received placebo treatment.
This clinical trial focuses on non-hospitalized high-risk patients, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these treatments in dosages of 2,400 mg and 1,200 mg. The results also show a reduction in the duration of symptoms by four days, bringing them down to ten days, says Roche.
Other ongoing clinical trials
This experimental treatment is the only combination of monoclonal antibodies “which retains its power against the great new variants which are emerging”, affirms the Swiss laboratory. “It could therefore offer hope for a potential new therapy for high-risk patients,” said Levi Garraway, chief medical officer and global director of product development at Roche.
At the same time, a phase II clinical trial conducted on “low risk” patients gives hope that the combination of casirivimab and imdevimab also makes it possible to “significantly” reduce the viral load. Other trials are still in progress, including a phase II / III on hospitalized patients and another phase III for the prevention of Covid in contact cases in the family circle. In total, more than 25,000 people participate in these different components.
No new safety signals
Monitoring for 169 days of patients who received the combination of the two antibodies also failed to identify a “safety signal”. While two deaths were recorded in the groups of patients who received the treatment, Roche believes that the serious adverse events were “largely related to Covid-19”. For comparison, five deaths were also recorded in the group of patients who received the placebo product.
The results of these tests will be communicated promptly to health authorities and submitted for review by medical experts as soon as possible. After a favorable opinion from the European Medicines Agency, the French Medicines Agency (ANSM) authorized in mid-March in France two bitherapies based on synthetic antibodies, including that of Roche and Regeneron, to treat early, from onset of symptoms, adults most at risk for severe form of Covid-19.