March 17, 2020 / 11:43 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Regeneron plans coronavirus trials by early summer for newly identified antibodies

(Adds details on manufacturing capacity, plans to begin human trials)

March 17 (Reuters) - Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Tuesday it had identified hundreds of antibodies that could treat the coronavirus and it planned to begin clinical trials by early summer, sending the drugmaker's shares up 10%.

The announcement comes a day after the drugmaker started testing its rheumatoid arthritis drug, Kevzara, with partner Sanofi against the virus.

Regeneron said it will select the top two antibodies to develop a 'cocktail' treatment, which the company is looking to manufacture on a large scale by mid-April.

The company said it was working to make smaller quantities available for initial testing and produce hundreds of thousands of doses per month by the end of summer.

The efforts are a part of the company's partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a coronavirus treatment.

Regeneron also said it was working with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Defense Authority to further increase its manufacturing capacity. (Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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