Part of President Donald Trump's coronavirus treatment included a dose of an antibody cocktail currently undergoing clinical trials, his physician Dr. Sean Conley announced Friday prior to the president's departure to Walter Reed.
The 8-gram antibody cocktail dose comes from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Westchester County, New York. In addition to the antibody cocktail, Dr. Conley confirmed administering zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and daily aspirin.
In a follow-up memo released after Trump was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Conley said he also treated with remdesivir.
Regeneron's cocktail drug has not yet received emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration but is available in a compassionate use request.
"The compassionate use mechanism has been in place for many years to allow patients who need access to experimental medicine based on their own treating physician's perspective to apply through this mechanism that involves both the FDA and the sponsor or producer of the medicine," Dr. George Yancopoulos, Regeneron's president and chief scientific officer, told News 4 Saturday.
Regeneron's antibody cocktail, REGN-COV2, is currently undergoing clinical trials to determine if it is a safe or effective treatment for the coronavirus. So far, more than 2,000 people have been enrolled in clinical trials.
On Tuesday, Regeneron said based on results of the trial's first 275 patients, REGN-COV2 improved symptoms and reduced viral loads in non-hospitalized patients who have mild to moderate COVID-19.
"While we have this important early clinical data that suggests that our cocktail might have profound anti-viral activity, we're still testing it in numerous trials in both outpatients, in hospitalized patients, and also even for prevention of COVID-19," Yancopoulos said.
Not everyone agrees on the decision to give the president an experimental treatment. Some doctors are expressing concerns over preferential treatment and limited data on the drug.
“I will say that in no case have I heard of a patient, especially of the importance of the president, getting an experimental infusion of an antibody cocktail,” Seattle-based pulmonologist Dr. Vin Gupta said on MSNBC.