Singapore Patient Plasma Used To Create Trump’s COVID-19 Antibody Cocktail

The antibody cocktail used to treat US President Donald Trump was developed from patient samples from Singapore.

AsianScientist (Oct. 5, 2020) – One of the two antibodies in the cocktail used to treat US president Donald Trump for COVID-19 was developed using blood samples from three patients in Singapore. REGN-COV2, a combination of two antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, was developed by US-based biotechnology company Regeneron. Two papers describing preclinical studies of REGN-COV2 have been published in Science.

Convalescent plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 could contain protective antibodies that can be used to either prevent or treat the disease. Although the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19, the difficulty of obtaining sufficient blood from volunteers means that it is not possible to use it at a large scale.

Instead of relying on large amounts of convalescent plasma, Regeneron cloned SARS-CoV-2 binding antibodies from both ‘humanized’ mice and recovered COVID-19 patients to produce a reliable source of monoclonal antibodies. While the humanized mice were based on a technology owned by Regeneron, the human plasma used was supplied through an agreement with Singapore’s National Centre for Infectious Diseases. According to a commentary published in The Straits Times in May, there have been talks for Singapore to potentially participate in further clinical trials of the treatment.

On September 29, 2020, Regeneron announced positive data from a Phase 1 trial of 275 patients, showing that REGN-COV2 reduced viral levels and improved symptoms. Shortly after, on October 2, 2020, it was revealed that Trump had received a high dose of the experimental therapy, which has not received emergency use approval but was administered under a compassionate use request.

The articles can be found at:
Hansen et al. (2020) Studies in Humanized Mice and Convalescent Humans Yield a SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Cocktail.
Baum et al. (2020) Antibody Cocktail to SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Prevents Rapid Mutational Escape Seen with Individual Antibodies.


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