Dec 16, 2021 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals /zigman2/quotes/203149337/composite REGN +0.60% saw its shares plummet Thursday on progress it claims to have made in the battle against COVID-19.
The company is developing new antibodies that work against the omicron variant, after Regeneron confirmed that its current cocktail has diminished potency against the heavily mutated strain.
CEO Leonard Schleifer reporters on Thursday that Regeneron plans to conduct trials on the new antibodies in the first quarter of 2022. Schleifer said Regeneron is working with the Food and Drug Administration to get the next generation of antibodies approved as efficiently as possible.
"I think we need to figure out a way that we can get this to patients on a large scale before the next variant shows up," Schleifer said. "We just don't want to be chasing our tail here."
The current antibody cocktail is still effective against delta, Schleifer said. Hospitals from the Great Lakes to the Northeast are currently overwhelmed by a wave of delta infections. Public health officials are concerned that the health-care system will soon be hit by a wave of omicron and flu infection as well as the U.S. enters the winter season.
Effective antibody treatments could play a key role in reducing hospitalizations and relieving stress on the health-care system.
Regeneron's antibody cocktail is administered through intravenous infusion. The cocktail targets the spike protein of the virus, blocking its ability to invade human cells. The spike protein has undergone significant mutation over the course of the pandemic. The omicron variant has more than 30 mutations to the spike.
REGN fell $8.93, or 1.4%, to $649.00
Is there a problem with this press release? Contact the source provider Comtex at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact MarketWatch Customer Service via our Customer Center.