What We’re Reading: COVID-19 Recovery Being Studied; Regeneron Antibody Results; “Berlin Patient” Dies

September 30, 2020

The aftereffects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are being studied in recovering patients; Regeneron’s COVID-19 antibody cocktail may induce quicker recovery; Timothy Ray Brown, the first patient reportedly cured of HIV, has died.

Many Clinics Now Studying Patients Recovering From COVID-19

Deemed “unpredictable,” the aftereffects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are now being studied in a new program at the University of Colorado, reports Kaiser Health News. Providing care for COVID-19’s lingering effects, including lung, heart, brain and spinal cord, and mental health issues, is the focus of the program, and many similar programs are springing up around the country. These other locations include at Mount Sinai in New York, University of California-San Francisco, Stanford University Medical Center, and the University of Pennsylvania. Just this week, global deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 1 million.

Regeneron Reports Positive Results for Its Investigative Monoclonal Antibody Mixture

REGN-COV2, an antibody agent for COVID-19 from biotech giant Regeneron, was linked to a quicker recovery, reduced viral load, and the need for fewer medical visits, according to initial data from a descriptive analysis of its phase 1/2/3 trial released yesterday. The agent is a mixture of 2 monoclonal antibodies: REGN10933 and REGN10987. In the ongoing, randomized, double-blind trial, the 3 arms are comparing adding an 8- or 2.4-g dose of REGN-COV2 or placebo to standard-of-care treatment for outpatients who have COVID-19. The patients being studied are both seronegative (no measurable antiviral antibodies) and seropositive (measurable antiviral antibodies), with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. REGN-COV2 is also being investigated in phase 2/3 and phase 3 trials in patients hospitalized because of COVID-19 and those who have been exposed to patients with the disease.

“Berlin Patient” Dies From Recurrence of Leukemia

Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the “Berlin patient,” died today, announced the International AIDS Society. After undergoing a stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukemia in 2008, from a donor naturally resistant to HIV due to a CCR5 gene mutation, Brown was able to stop his antiretroviral therapy (ART) and maintain an undetectable viral load. His leukemia, however, recurred 6 months ago, entering his brain and spine. Two other patients have also reportedly been cured of HIV: Adam Castillejo, also known as the “London patient,” following a bone marrow transplant (BMT) for Hodgkin lymphoma from a CCR5-negative donor, and Loreen Willenberg, who is known as an “extreme elite controller” because she has never had to take ART and did not undergo a BMT.