Regeneron boosts production capacity for COVID-19 antibody cocktail via deal with Roche

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said Wednesday that the overall capacity to produce REGN-COV2, a two-antibody cocktail against COVID-19, will increase by at least 3.5 times under a development and manufacturing collaboration with Roche. As part of the deal, Regeneron will market REGN-COV2 in the US, with Roche responsible for distribution outside the country.

REGN-COV2 is currently being studied in two Phase II/III trials for the treatment of COVID-19 and in a Phase III study for the prevention of COVID-19 in household contacts of infected individuals. "This major collaboration with Roche provides important scale and global expertise to bring REGN-COV2 to many more patients," remarked Leonard Schleifer, CEO of Regeneron.

The executive explained that Regeneron entered the collaboration because it does not expect to be able to manufacture enough of the drug on its own to meet global demand. "We know we're going to be limited in capacity and there are very few people in the world who have as much manufacturing capacity as Roche-Genentech," Schleifer added.

Under the agreed terms, Regeneron and Roche have each committed to dedicate a certain manufacturing capacity to REGN-COV2 each year, with the companies both bearing distribution expenses in their designated territories. They will also jointly fund and execute the ongoing Phase III prevention and Phase I healthy volunteer safety studies, as well as any additional global trials to further evaluate the potential for REGN-COV2 in treating or preventing COVID-19.

According to Schleifer, the price of REGN-COV2 in the US will be set by Regeneron, while Roche will decide the price internationally. Although prices have yet to be determined, Schleifer suggested that the therapy will cost more in developed countries, while less-developed markets will be charged a lower price or receive the drug free via donations from the companies.

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