A study testing an experimental antibody drug for the coronavirus has been paused to investigate a possible safety issue. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said Friday that independent monitors had recommended placing on hold enrollment of the most severely ill patients -- those who need intense oxygen treatment or breathing machines -- because of a potential safety problem and unfavorable balance of risks and benefits.
The study can continue to test the two-antibody drug combo in hospitalized patients who need little or no extra oxygen. Other studies in mild or moderately ill people also are continuing.
Earlier this month, a study testing a similar drug from Eli Lilly in hospitalized patients was paused and later stopped because the drug didn’t seem to help. Experts say the previous testing suggests these antibody drugs may help most when given early in infection.