Although Donald Trump has claimed that the experimental drug Regeneron acted as a “cure” for his coronavirus, the CEO of the eponymous company, Leonard Schleifer, pushed back on such assertions during a Sunday interview on CBS’s Face the Nation.
“So the president’s case is a case of one, and that’s what we call a case report, and it is evidence of what’s happening, but it’s kind of the weakest evidence that you can get,” he said of Trump’s claims.
Schleifer then acknowledged that there were some “interesting aspects” of the president’s instance, including his age, risk factors, and lack of immune system preparation.
“But the real evidence has to come about how good a drug is and what it will do on average has to come from these large clinical trials, these randomized clinical trials, which are the gold standard. And those are ongoing.”
While the CEO claimed that the medication, an antibody cocktail, does create immunity to coronavirus, he noted that it would likely last on a scale of months as opposed to years. His remarks conflict with Trump’s recent claim that he made to Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.
During the discussion, the president suggested that the drug provided him with a protective barrier and said that it might have made him immune to the disease.
According to Schleifer, vaccines ideally provide immunity that can last for years, sometimes even decades. However, he added that the length of naturally acquired immunity is still not known.
The executive also touched on the Trump administration’s commitment to purchase large amounts of the product to provide to the American people for free. According to the 67-year-old, the two parties have a $450 million contract, and there are currently doses ready for 50,000 patients, significantly below the 7 million infected people in the country.
The coronavirus is still largely unpredictable, and scientists continue to learn about its workings as the weeks pass. As The Guardian reported, researchers are currently “puzzled” by a wave of reinfections, some of which saw patients exhibit worse symptoms than their first experience with the disease.
Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunobiology at Yale University, noted the unpredictable nature of the problem that researchers are facing.
“It’s really hard to find a pattern right now. Essentially every case is different.”
As of now, reinfection appears to be uncommon, as there have been approximately two dozen such cases confirmed across the world. Thus far, the pandemic has made its way through over 30 million people worldwide.