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Covid-19: Limerick pharma plant active in vaccine effort Regeneron working alongside sister plant in New York

Posted on 8 months ago by Laurentina Kennedy

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Covid-19: Limerick pharma plant active in vaccine effort
Regeneron working alongside sister plant in New York     David Raleigh in Limerick

 Photograph: iStock

Regeneron said it had “identified hundreds of virus-neutralising antibodies” from mice as well as people who have recovered from Covid-19. who have recovered from Covid-19.  

Limerick-based pharmaceutical company Regeneron is working alongside its sister plant in New York to develop a “full suite of medicines” as it launches clinical test trials on critically ill coronavirus patients in the hope of developing a life-saving vaccine.  

The company, which employs around 1,000 people at its European headquarters at the Raheen Industrial Estate, said it had “identified hundreds of virus-neutralising antibodies” from mice as well as people who have recovered from Covid-19.  

It “plans to initiate large-scale manufacturing by mid-April with antibody cocktail therapy, with potential to enter human clinical studies by early summer”.  

When asked if Regeneron’s Limerick factory was playing a role in the manufacturing or otherwise in relation to the coronavirus vaccine test trials, a spokeswoman said: “Our Industrial Operations and Product Supply (IOPS) teams in Limerick and Rensselaer, NY work together to make our full suite of medicines between the two manufacturing facilities.”  

“We don’t disclose which products are made where,” the spokeswoman added.  

Clinical trials  

A statement release by Regeneron on March 17th, stated the clinical trials are “in addition to Regeneron’s separate ongoing clinical programme evaluating a receptor antibody, in severe Covid-19 patients”.  

The company said that, in its latest efforts to find a vaccine, its scientists had isolated “fully human antibodies from the company’s VelocImmune mice, which have been genetically-modified to have a human immune system”.  

“Regeneron has also isolated antibodies from humans who have recovered from Covid-19, in order to maximise the pool of potentially potent antibodies.” 

The company is progressing its proposed therapy “from this large pool of candidates”.  

“Using a multi-antibody approach allows for targeting of different parts of the virus and may help protect against multiple viral variants.”  

Regeneron previously used similar technologies “to rapidly develop a successful treatment for Ebola virus infection, which is currently under review”.  

Regeneron’s 400,000sq ft state-of-the-art production facility in Limerick is the largest scale bulk biological production facility in Ireland.