University of Washington researchers starting clinical trial on Regeneron COVID treatment

It's a COVID-19 experimental treatment that's now in the headlines because of the President. But researchers at the University of Washington want to know more about it, and they're asking for your help.

UW Medicine and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are recruiting patients on separate clinical trials for an antibody cocktail called REGN-COV2. The antibodies are made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, based in New York. 

This is a similar experimental treatment given to President Trump while he recovered from COVID-19 at Walter Reed Medical Center. The President touted it as a "cure," although several scientific studies have yet to conclude that.

"So, I just want to say we have Regeneron, we have a very similar drug from Eli Lilly, and they're coming out and we're trying to get them on an emergency basis. We've authorized it, I've authorized it. And if you're in the hospital and you're feeling really bad, I think we're going to work it so that you get them and you're going to get them free," said President Trump in a video posted on Twitter.

And while anecdotally, it may have played a role in the President's recovery, researchers want to know how effective it is for others.

A University of Washington Medicine clinical study aims to recruit 2,000 people in the U.S., who live in the same household as somebody who tested positive for COVID-19. Researchers want to provide the non-infected person with the antibody-drug cocktail to see if prevents them from getting COVID-19.

According to researchers, initial trials of the antibody treatment is promising.

"The data from the treatment trials are encouraging. They show that the anti-body combination can decrease the amount of virus among some people, so this is encouraging data. We have every reason to be pursuing these trials and to be conducting this research," said Dr. Ruanne Barnabas, associate professor of Global Health and Medicine and an infectious disease physician at the University of Washington.

Another study being conducted by Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center aims to see if the Regeneron therapy can be used to treat COVID-19 in patients.

This experimental treatment is different than other anti-viral drugs like Remdesivir, according to researchers.

"Antibodies are different because they mimic what your body would produce itself to fight the virus. So if you had COVID-19, your body would produce very similar antibodies to bind to the virus itself," said Barnabas. 

If you are interested in taking part in this study, you can call (206) 773-7129 or you can go on the website: