U.S. health regulators have authorized newer, more convenient forms of a Covid-19 antibody drug made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. that could make it easier for patients to get the treatment, the company said on Friday.
Doctors and nurses now can administer one of the new forms by a simple injection, rather than intravenous infusion.
Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody drug, called REGEN-COV, has been available to treat recently diagnosed Covid-19 since last November under an emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In clinical trials, the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 70% in people with mild to moderate symptoms.
Yet the drug has gone underused, according to public health officials, in part because it requires intravenous infusions that not all clinics and hospitals are equipped to administer.
Under the new authorization, the FDA permitted a simpler formulation, in which patients receive an injection shot underneath the skin in cases where IV infusions aren’t feasible or would lead to a delay in treatment, Regeneron said.