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The Making of Medicine

Promising Results in Preventing COVID-19 Infections

We've gotten some promising early results about an antibody cocktail we're testing to see if it can prevent COVID-19 infections in people exposed to COVID-19.

The cocktail's maker, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, announced that the cocktail was able to prevent 100% of symptomatic infections and reduced overall infections (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) by half. This reflects the outcomes in the first 400 participants in the multisite trial, which is being conducted at UVA Health and elsewhere.

Of 186 people who received the antibodies, none developed symptomatic COVID-19, Regeneron reported. Of the 223 who received a placebo, eight developed symptomatic illness.

Asymptomatic infections occurred in 15 antibody recipients and 23 placebo recipients.

Among those who developed infections, placebo recipients had, on average, a peak viral load more than 100 times greater than antibody recipients. The viral shedding period was also much longer among the placebo recipients.

Infections in the antibody recipients all resolved within a week, while 40% of infections in the placebo group lasted three to four weeks, Regeneron said.

It's important to note that the findings haven't yet been reported in a scientific journal, and the trial is still under way. I'll let you know when we have more info.

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