Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: REGN) lost 2.0% in the stock market this morning after the biotech company said its COVID-19 antibody cocktail loses potency against the latest Omicron variant of the Coronavirus.
Regeneron has not yet lost against Omicron
Interestingly, however, CEO Leonard Schleifer confirmed on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that new cocktails, which seem to be promising against both Delta and the Omicron variant, were already in the pipeline.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve tested a whole host of new antibodies which can work against both Omicron and Delta. We’ll work with the FDA and try to get the next generation as efficiently as possible because antibody cocktails will play an important role in our toolkit against COVID.
According to the chief executive, Regeneron will start human testing for its next-gen COVID-19 antibody cocktails in the first quarter of 2022. In the meantime, REGEN-COV will continue to play its part in the global battle against the pandemic as it remains potent for the still rising Delta variant.
COVID tests need to be updated
Now that there’s more than one variant of the Coronavirus circulating globally, Dr Schleifer called on the need for COVID testing that quickly identifies the variant in individual patients.
We don’t need new technology for that. The technology is there. We just have to figure out how to get that out a little bit more efficiently, get it to the point of care, and get it to run around rapidly so that we can distinguish technologically between Omicron, Delta, and anything else that might comes along.
He reiterated that Regeneron will work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to get the next-gen antibodies to patients on a large scale as quickly as possible, hopefully before another variant shows up.
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