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Difference Between Remdesivir and Regeneron

Remdesivir is a medication that was designed to help with viral infections such as respiratory syncytial virus and was approved for use against other viruses, including the coronavirus, Covid-19. Regeneron is a company that developed a specific polyclonal medication made of antibodies that attacks the Covid-19 virus.

What is Remdesivir?


Remdesivir is a medication developed by Gilead Sciences that was designed to help with viral infections such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), but its use has now extended to treating Covid-19 and other viruses.

Mechanism of action:

The medicine works by inhibiting the action of an RNA polymerase enzyme.  This enzyme is needed to make copies of the viral genome and, thus, the virus cannot replicate the genetic material if this enzyme does not work properly. Hence, this medicine helps stop viral replication from occurring. 

Viruses it is used against:

Remdesivir is used against RSV and the hepatitis C virus. Researchers have found that this medication can also be helpful for people who have SARS or MERS infections. Research also indicates that Remdesivir is helpful for people with Covid-19 because it speeds up the recovery time for patients who are ill with the virus. In fact, patients ill with Covid-19 recover faster when given this medication. 

Side effects:

Side effects of Remdesivir vary and can include feeling dizzy, having chills or fever, developing a rash, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and changes in heartbeat. 

What is Regeneron?


Regeneron is a  pharmaceutical company that has made a medication, REGN-COV2 cocktail , that is composed of antibodies  designed to attack the coronavirus, Covid-19.

Mechanism of action:

The REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail is comprised of two separate antibodies, hence it is also known as a polyclonal antibody. The two antibodies help with the viral infection because they attach to the spike proteins on the viral capsid. This is significant because the function of the Covid-19 spike proteins is to help the virus attach to and penetrate the host cell. If the protein is disabled it stops the virus getting into the cells, which then means that viral replication cannot progress.

Viruses it is used against:

The Regeneron antibody cocktail is designed specifically for the Covid-19 virus, and currently the results from experimental trials are promising. Use of the drug has resulted in much lower rates of hospitalization among infected people.

Side effects:

Side effects from the REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail include chills and fever, headache, feeling nauseated, sore throat, irritation to the skin, and feeling dizzy. There is a risk of severe allergy with the treatment.

Difference between Remdesivir and Regeneron?


Remdesivir is a medication that was designed to help with viral infections such as respiratory syncytial virus, but its use has extended to Covid-19 and other viruses. Regeneron is a  company that has made a medication, REGN-COV2 cocktail, composed of antibodies that are designed to attack the coronavirus, Covid-19.

Molecule(s) targeted

Remdesivir targets the enzyme RNA polymerase. The Regeneron antibody cocktail targets specific spike proteins of the virus.

Mechanism of action

The way that Remdesivir works is it Inhibits the activity of the RNA polymerase enzyme so that the viral genetic material of the virus cannot be replicated. The way that the Regeneron cocktail works is it contains antibodies designed to attach to the spike proteins, which then stops the virus from attaching to and penetrating cells of the host.


The advantages of Remdesivir are that this medication is effective against more than one type of viral infection and does shorten recovery time for Covid-19 patients. The advantages of the Regeneron cocktail are that it decreases hospitalization from Covid-19 by as much as 70%, and it works against at least two of the new genetic variants of Covid-19.


There are unpleasant side effects for some patients who take Remdesivir; side effects such as dizziness, fever, chills, a skin rash, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and changes in the heartbeat. There are unpleasant side effects for some patients who take the Regeneron cocktail; side effects include: dizziness, fever chills, sore throat, skin irritation, and allergy.

Table comparing Remdesivir and Regeneron

Summary of Remdesivir Vs. Regeneron

  • Remdesivir and Regeneron are related in that both can be used to help treat patients who have Covid-19 infections.
  • Regeneron has made a polyclonal antibody that helps shorten coronavirus illness.
  • Remdesivir attacks the enzyme needed to control viral gene replication, and has been successfully used against several viral infections besides Covid-19.
  • Both the Regeneron antibody cocktail and the drug Remdesivir shorten recovery time in patients ill with Covid-19.

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References :

[0]Baum, Alina, et al. "REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail prevents and treats SARS-CoV-2 infection in rhesus macaques and hamsters." bioRxiv (2020).

[1]Beigel, John H., et al. "Remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19." New England Journal of Medicine 383.19 (2020): 1813-1826.

[2]Gordon, Calvin J., et al. "Remdesivir is a direct-acting antiviral that inhibits RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 with high potency." Journal of Biological Chemistry 295.20 (2020): 6785-6797.

[3]Image credit: https://media.beam.usnews.com/a8/00/706e5b7448e8aa87b4cd716eaa86/201005-regeneron-editorial.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49882602878_a19552ece8_b.jpg

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