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Regeneron teams up with Roche to boost production of COVID-19 treatment

Antibody production is shown recently at Regeneron's East Greenbush facility.
Antibody production is shown recently at Regeneron's East Greenbush facility.

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EAST GREENBUSH — Regeneron has teamed up with Swiss biotechnology giant Roche for development and distribution of the COVID-19 treatment that Regeneron is producing in its East Greenbush facility.

The deal is expected to more than triple the supply of REGN-COV2, an antibody cocktail now in clinical trials. Regeneron, which earlier this year landed a $450 million contract with the U.S. government for production of the compound, will distribute the treatment in the United States. Roche will distribute it abroad.

The deal commits both companies to dedicate portions of their resource capacity to manufacturing, and they’ve already begun transferring the needed technology. Roche will be responsible for obtaining regulatory approvals outside the United States and for conducting any further research required to accomplish that.

The $450 million contract Regeneron announced in July is part of operation Warp Speed, the public-private partnership created by the U.S. government in response to the pandemic, which has hit the United States harder than any other country.

The ultimate goal of Warp Speed is to create a vaccine, which would offer long-term infection prevention benefits. REGN-COV2 is not a vaccine but would offer shorter-term benefits with antibodies. The body’s immune system produces antibodies to fight infections; REGN-COV2 is designed to block COVID-19’s ability to infect a person by using a targeted and engineered mix of antibodies.

The cocktail is currently in the second of three phases of clinical trials for treatment of infection and the third phase of a trial for infection prevention.

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“Regeneron has progressed the REGN-COV2 research and development program at record speed and worked tirelessly to maximize our in-house manufacturing capacity,” Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer, president and CEO of Regeneron, said in a news release Wednesday. “This major collaboration with Roche provides important scale and global expertise to bring REGN-COV2 to many more patients in the United States and around the globe.”

Regeneron is headquartered in Westchester County and has a large and growing production facility in East Greenbush.

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