SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), announced today that Genentech and Roche are joining forces with Regeneron in the fight against COVID-19 to develop, manufacture and distribute REGN-COV2, Regeneron’s investigational antiviral antibody combination, to people around the globe. REGN-COV2 could provide a much needed treatment option for people already experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and also has the potential to prevent infection in people exposed to the virus, thus slowing the spread of the global pandemic. This collaboration is expected to increase supply of REGN-COV2 to at least three and a half times the current capacity, with the potential for even further expansion.
REGN-COV2 is currently being studied in two Phase II/III clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19 and in a Phase III trial for the prevention of COVID-19 in household contacts of infected individuals. If it proves safe and effective in clinical trials and regulatory approvals are granted, Regeneron will distribute and record sales for REGN-COV2 in the U.S. and Roche will be responsible for distribution outside the U.S.
“We are excited about the potential for one medicine to serve both as a treatment for those infected as well as protection for people exposed to the virus. REGN-COV2 could be a critical line of defense against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bill Anderson, chief executive officer of Roche Pharmaceuticals. “We’re committing our manufacturing expertise and capacity, and our global distribution network to bring Regeneron’s potential antibody combination to as many people around the world as we possibly can.”
“Regeneron has progressed the REGN-COV2 research and development program at record speed and worked tirelessly to maximize our in-house manufacturing capacity,” said Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Regeneron. “This major collaboration with Roche and Genentech provides important scale and global expertise to bring REGN-COV2 to many more patients in the United States and around the globe.”
Under the terms of the agreement, each company has committed to dedicate a certain manufacturing capacity to REGN-COV2 each year, and the collaborators have already begun the technology transfer process. Each company will bear its own distribution expenses in their designated territories. The collaborators will jointly fund and execute the ongoing Phase III prevention and Phase I healthy volunteers safety studies as well as additional global studies to evaluate further the potential for REGN-COV2 in treating or preventing COVID-19. Roche will be primarily responsible for securing regulatory approvals outside the U.S., following the initial European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval, and conducting any additional studies specifically required for approval by regulators outside the U.S.
REGN-COV2 was designed specifically by Regeneron scientists to block infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They evaluated thousands of fully-human antibodies produced by the company’s proprietary VelocImmune® mice, which have been genetically-modified to have a human immune system, as well as antibodies identified from humans who have recovered from COVID-19. The two potent, virus-neutralizing antibodies that form REGN-COV2 bind non-competitively to the critical receptor binding domain of the virus’s spike protein, which diminishes the ability of mutant viruses to escape treatment and protects against spike variants that have arisen in the human population, as detailed in recent Science publications.
REGN-COV2’s development, manufacturing and clinical trials has been funded in part by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under OT number: HHSO100201700020C.
Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com
For information on how Genentech is responding to the global pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 response page.