Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NAS:REGN) gained 1.2% in premarket trading on Wednesday after the company said its COVID-19 antibody cocktail still works against two new more infectious strains of the virus: the B.1.1.7 and the B.1.351. The company worked with researchers at Columbia University to assess how the drug, which has received emergency authorization in the U.S., works against the new strains in a laboratory, according to a preprint published Wednesday. (A preprint is a type of preliminary study.) The study was not conducted in humans. Regeneron said its antibody cocktail, made up of imdevimab and casirivimab, remained effective against the B.1.1.7 strain, but casirivimab's potency was reduced against the B.1.351 strain, which was first identified in South Africa. It has not yet tested the cocktail against the P.1 strain that has emerged from Brazil. Close to 300 people in the U.S. have confirmed cases with the B.1.1.7 strain, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and the first case of P.1. in the U.S. was identified this week in Minnesota. The B.1.351 has not yet been detected in the U.S. BioNTech SE (NAS:BNTX) /Pfizer Inc. (NYS:PFE) and Moderna Inc. (NAS:MRNA) also ran similar studies evaluating if their vaccines can protect against the new variants. Regeneron's stock has rallied 60.3% over the past year, while the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) is up 16.8%.
Jan. 27, 2021, 7:52 a.m. EST