As the world braces for another projected surge of 2019 novel coronavirus cases, people pin their hopes on the possibility that a vaccine might be available soon. Meanwhile, others have pointed out the importance of a treatment option that could help those who have been afflicted with COVID-19. Based on the latest developments, early trials of Regeneron's antibody formulation have produced promising results. Reports claim it was able to reduce the viral loads and improve the condition of patients.

Additional details indicate that the drug produced the most favourable effect on people whose immune systems already started to take action against the infection. So far, the data was gathered from 275 patients out of the 1,000 who voluntarily participated in the trials. CNN notes the results are still subject to peer review but are nonetheless positive as researchers observed the reduction of medical visits among individuals who were initially hospitalised.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham director of the division of infectious diseases Dr. Jeanne Marrazo stated: "What I think is fascinating is that it shows that antibodies really matter and the antibody to the spike protein was really helpful, particularly when people made the antibodies themselves." She then added. "Whether it's antibody therapy or vaccine that target these proteins, it sounds like we are on the right track. I think that's really encouraging."

Another observation that appears to bode well for folks who worry about the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is the reduction of viral load in the nasopharynx. This means Regeneron's drug could, in theory, control transmission from those diagnosed positive with COVID-19. The biotech company publicly shared the information via a news release instead of a scientific report. However, it seems many experts agree that the outcome from the treatment is encouraging.

World races to find a vaccine
With the global virus death toll topping 900,000, the race is on to find a vaccine. Photo: AFP / Douglas MAGNO

On the other hand, some believe that press releases about purported benefits and positive results might be intentional to drive a drug company's stock prices up. Thus, a peer preview is required wherein a thorough study by a team of specialists will expose any potential hazards or problems. Meanwhile, Regeneron assures the public that they will share more data after they test the antibody treatment on more volunteers.