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Regeneron Rapid Response for Emerging Infectious Diseases (MERS) Described in National Academy of Sciences Publication

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has published a paper demonstrating that the Company's proprietary VelociGene® and VelocImmune® technologies enabled the rapid identification and preclinical validation of potential candidates that could be developed for the prevention and treatment of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This involved the development of fully human antibodies specific to the MERS virus, as well as the creation of a genetically humanized model to test and validate these antibodies. In addition to MERS, Regeneron's proprietary antibody rapid response platform has been used to generate antibodies for Ebola virus and has the potential to address other emerging infectious diseases.

"Regeneron is committed to being part of the solution in responding to emerging epidemics, and we hope to collaborate with governments and other organizations in an effort to make our antibodies for MERS and Ebola available," said Neil Stahl, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Regeneron. "Fully human antibodies hold incredible promise for treating infectious disease; however, earlier generation technologies were not optimal for rapid enough development so as to address emerging outbreaks. Our Veloci-technologies identify and produce validated fully human antibodies, already in manufacturing-ready cell lines, within months as compared to years using other methods. This holds the potential to offer a rapid response solution for emerging infectious diseases, which are an increasing threat in our interconnected world."

Regeneron is currently collaborating with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on further evaluation of both the MERS and Ebola antibodies.

Currently there are no approved medicines or vaccines to treat or prevent MERS, which causes severe respiratory tract infections and is associated with high death rates. In addition to an ongoing outbreak in South Korea, cases of MERS have been reported in the Middle East, Europe, the U.S., Africa and other countries in Asia.

Details on Study Results and the Regeneron Rapid Response Platform

Regeneron researchers utilized VelocImmune®, a platform that enables the rapid generation of fully human monoclonal antibodies, to create a panel of antibodies that block interaction between the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Spike protein and its receptor, DPP4, thus preventing virus cell entry. In parallel, VelociGene®, a large-scale mouse genomic modification platform, was used to develop a genetically humanized mouse model for the MERS infection. Although mice are not susceptible to MERS, which has stymied many research efforts, VelociGene® enabled the creation of a robust mouse model of disease. In collaboration with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, which provided access to an infectious MERS-CoV clone and conducted testing with live virus, the potential treatments were evaluated in this novel small animal model.

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