President Donald J. Trump has tested positive to the Corona Virus, was taken to Walter Reed Hospital out of caution, and the President’s Doctor is reporting that Trump is being treated with an “Experimental Antibody Treatment”.
“It[ the treatment] is similar to a Tamiflu but stronger, and effective. It is in Phase two of the trail,” Dr. Manny Alverez said on Fox News. “There are some side effects so that is most likely why they are taking President Trump to the hospital, and I expect him to recover. “Alverez told Bret Brier on Friday.
The New York Times reported about the treatment, “Mr. Trump received a single dose of an antibody cocktail made by the biotech Regeneron. The company’s C.E.O. has known the president for years.”
According to a letter from Trump’s medical doctor, Dr. Sean P. Conley said “he [Trump] completed the infusion without incident” and that he “remains fatigued but in good spirits.”
There are no approved treatments for Covid-19, but the Regeneron treatment is one of the most promising candidates, along with another antibody treatment developed by Eli Lilly.
In an interview Friday afternoon, Regeneron’s chief executive, Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer, said Trump’s medical staff reached out to the company for permission to use the drug, and that it was cleared with the Food and Drug Administration.
Schleifer has a notable career in biotechnology and entrepreneurship.
Axios reported on the treatment and said:
“Following PCR-confirmation of the President’s diagnosis, as a precautionary measure he received a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail,” Conley said.
- “He completed the infusion without incident. In addition to the polyclonal antibodies, the President has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.”
- Trump is “fatigued but in good spirits,” Conley said, while the first lady has “a mild cough and headache.”
Zoom in: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced earlier this week that its coronavirus antibody cocktail reduced viral load for patients enrolled in early and late-stage trials — which are ongoing.
- The company gave Trump the cocktail — which is not yet approved by the FDA —through a compassionate use request, since the drug is still being evaluated for its safety and efficacy in tests with hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients, Regeneron said in a Friday press release.
- Regeneron defines its compassionate use program as “intended for patients with serious or life-threatening conditions who do not have any viable or available treatment options, and are unable to participate in ongoing clinical trials.”
WBKN reported about the cocktail:
Trump is receiving a two-antibody combo drug that’s currently in late-stage studies from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. The company previously developed a successful treatment for Ebola using a similar approach.
It’s given as a one-time treatment through an IV.
Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said the drug was being given “as a precautionary measure,” and that Trump also was taking zinc, vitamin D, an antacid called famotidine, melatonin and aspirin. None of those have been proven to be effective against COVID-19.
Trump apparently is not receiving hydroxychloroquine, a drug he widely promoted that has been shown in many studies to be ineffective for preventing or treating COVID-19.
Released earlier this week, the first data from a trial using Regeneron’s COVID-19 antibody cocktail is encouraging. The top dose of the treatment relieved symptoms more quickly than the placebo for patients not sick enough to be hospitalized.
The initial phase included 275 patients in the phased study. The most significant improvements were seen in patients who had not already mounted a natural response, the company said.
Jeanne Marrazzo, the director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told CNN the results appear “very promising.”
The company said the treatment is intended as a therapeutic substitute for a natural response to the virus. According to a news release, Regeneron said it is hoping to confirm their initial findings in a second group of patients.
“What I think is fascinating is that it shows that antibodies really matter and the antibody to the spike protein was really helpful, particularly when people made the antibodies themselves,” said Marrazzo. “Whether it’s antibody therapy or vaccine that target these proteins, it sounds like we are on the right track. I think that’s really encouraging.”
Antibodies are proteins the body makes when an infection occurs; they attach to a virus and help it be eliminated. The blood of survivors is being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 patients because it contains such antibodies, but the strength and types of antibodies varies depending on each donor, and doing this on a large scale is impractical.
The drugs that Regeneron and other companies are testing are concentrated versions of specific antibodies that worked best against the coronavirus in lab and animal tests, and can be made in large, standardized doses.
They are being tested to treat newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients in hope of preventing serious disease or death and to try to prevent infection in people at high risk of that such as nursing home residents and health workers.