Regeneron and Roche's antibody cocktail shown helping in COVID-19 cases

FILE PHOTO: A sign at a diagnostics site for Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche

ZURICH (Reuters) -New late-stage trial data show Regeneron and Roche's antibody cocktail against COVID-19 cut hospitalisation or death by 70% versus a placebo in non-hospitalised patients, the Swiss drugmaker said on Tuesday.

The shot, consisting of casirivimab and imdevimab antibodies developed by Regeneron with financial help from the U.S. government, also met all key secondary endpoints in the phase III trial with 4,567 participants, including reducing symptom duration to 10 days from 14, Roche said.

Roche, which is making the drug at plants in California and which is responsible for sales outside the United States, and Regeneron are expecting hundreds of millions in sales in 2021 from the drug, including $260 million alone to the U.S. government in the first quarter.

"New infections continue to rise globally with over three million reported cases last week, so this investigational antibody cocktail may offer hope as a potential new therapy to high-risk patients - particularly in light of recent evidence showing that casirivimab and imdevimab together retain activity against key emerging variants," Roche Chief Medical Officer Levi Garraway said.

Roche has said that it and Regeneron can produce more than 2 million doses annually.

The cocktail, which data previously showed has been effective against variants, has emergency approval in the United States, and has been authorized in Europe for use in non-hospitalised patients. Former U.S. President Donald Trump got the treatment when he was infected with COVID-19.

(Reporting by Michael Shields and John Miller; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)