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Regeneron says its COVID-19 drug cut patient visits

Drugmaker Regeneron said Wednesday its COVID-19 antibody cocktail, used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump, significantly cut medical visits in a trial of nearly 800 patients.

Regeneron said patients given the treatment, called REGN-COV2, made around 57% fewer COVID-19-related medical visits than those given a placebo over a period of 29 days.

The drop was around 72% in patients with one or more risk factors such as obesity or an immunocompromised status.

Regeneron's drug is a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies, which are manufactured copies of antibodies.

They're one of the main weapons the immune system generates to fight infections.

Trump has credited the Regeneron therapy for his COVID-19 recovery.

"But they gave me Regeneron and it was like, unbelievable. I felt good. Immediately. I felt as good three days ago as I do now."

He's said he would push for emergency use authorization (EUA) of that treatment and others like it, and that he wanted to provide it to Americans at no cost.

However, Regeneron said earlier this month it only had a limited amount of doses of its therapy -- just 50,000 ready for distribution.

The U.S. government had agreed to buy up to 300,000 doses for $450 million in June.

In September Regeneron also released early data from the trial showing the treatment reduced viral levels and improved symptoms in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The company says the new data confirms the initial findings, and that they shared it with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after filing for an EUA earlier this month.

Eli Lilly, which makes a similar drug, has also filed for the authorization, and signed a contract Wednesday to provide 300,000 doses of its treatment to the U.S. government.