“There’s no tree of life for viruses. It’s a giant black box, and that’s why I’m attracted to this field.”
Ben Fulton is a scientist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Fulton and his team engineered a harmless virus, that had all of the deadly pathogen’s key characteristics. The virus was tested on mice engineered to have human immune systems – a process that generated thousands of antibodies.
The result is REGN-COV2, an antibody cocktail treatment now in clinical trials. This therapy was endorsed by former president Donald Trump, who received it as part of his treatment for COVID-19 in October.
Fulton is now returning to the work that brought him to Regeneron in the first place, engineering viruses that can either kill tumors or galvanize the immune system to do the same.