7 On Your Side Investigates: New York lab starts COVID-19 clinical drug trials

TARRYTOWN, Westchester County (WABC) -- Dozens of scientists at Regeneron in Westchester County have been working on a drug to fight the novel coronavirus since the pandemic started.

Three months later, the pharmaceutical company announced Thursday it is starting clinical trials on a COVID-19 cocktail they have created.

"I think it's an amazing," Regeneron Vice President of Research Christos Kyratsous said. "It says a lot about technology, and it also says a lot about how many people worked really hard to make this happen."

We've heard about antibodies being taken from the blood of recovered patients and infused into those battling the virus, and this is similar. But instead of harvesting antibodies from someone's blood, Regeneron has created man-made antibodies as a pharmaceutical product.

Ant it's not just one antibody, but two, combined together, to hopefully make it stronger.

"So we are testing these antibodies in multiple different settings," Kyratsous said. "From prevention all the way to treatment in severely infected patients."

They're testing the drug on people to see if it can prevent the virus, and if it can help treat those who are already infected.

"Getting these drugs in trials, into patients, is a huge step forward to see if it actually works," former FDA Associate Commissioner Peter Pitts said.

Pitts said multiple options are needed to help fight the deadly disease, and he doesn't expect a vaccine to be approved until early 2021.

That's also the timeline for Regeneron, if clinical trials go as expected.

"We'll see," Kyratsous said. "Fingers crossed."


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