There are treatments for COVID-19 which lessen the symptoms and severity of the illness. You may have heard the term “monoclonal antibody” in the news or online. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such as viruses. COVID-19 treatment options are available for patients with mild to moderate symptoms and for hospitalized patients. (FDA) This article explores the options we now about currently.
Treatment availability depends on advice from your doctor, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or comorbidities such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Your body naturally makes antibodies to fight infection. However, your body may not have antibodies designed to recognize a new virus like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies are synthesized in a lab and are given to patients directly with an IV infusion. The antibodies work to block the virus that causes COVID-19 from attaching to human cells, making it more difficult for the virus to reproduce and cause harm. (Lloyd, 2021)
Active COVID-19 Diagnosis
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested, and test positive for the virus, the time to act for intervention therapies is at the time of diagnosis. The longer you wait, the sicker you may get and the goal of the therapy is to minimize symptoms and prevent patient hospitalization if possible. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and determine where you are in the cycle of the virus. If you are less than 10 days sick, and test positive for COVID-19, the antibody treatment may be an option for you.
Patients ages 12 and older who are at high risk for complications are eligible for monoclonal antibody infusion therapy.
Availability of Certain Therapies
We have access to three different infusion therapies with varying availability:
VEKLURY® (remdesivir) is the first and only FDA-approved antiviral therapy proven to be safe. VEKLURY is a prescription medicine used to treat COVID-19 in adults and children at least 12 years old and weighing at least 88 pounds requiring hospitalization. (Gilead, 2021) Patient information on this medication can be found here: Factsheet PDF
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for REGEN-COV™ (casirivimab and imdevimab) for the treatment of mild to moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., 2021) Patient information on this drug can be found here: Factsheet PDF
Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab
Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab are investigational medicines used together in adults and adolescents (12 years of age and older who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kg)) who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. This treatment has not been FDA Approved, but is approved for distribution with an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). More detailed information on this treatment can be found here: Factsheet PDF
Where You Can Get Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
This treatment is available at this facility, depending on availability. You can also check the Texas Therapeutics Finder Map for additional information and locations.
Commissioner, O. of the. (n.d.). Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: FDA authorizes monoclonal antibodies for treatment of COVID-19. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved October 14, 2021, from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-monoclonal-antibodies-treatment-covid-19.
Lloyd, E. C. (2021, March 9). Patient information: Monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19. JAMA. Retrieved October 14, 2021, from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2776307.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (n.d.). Important facts – veklury. https://www.veklury.com/. Retrieved October 14, 2021, from https://www.veklury.com/downloads/important_facts.pdf.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (n.d.). Regeneron’s COVID-19 response efforts. Regeneron’s COVID-19 Response Efforts. Retrieved October 14, 2021, from https://www.regeneron.com/covid19.
Eli Lilly U.S.A. (2021, September 16). Fact sheet for health care … – eli lilly and company. Retrieved October 14, 2021, from http://pi.lilly.com/eua/bam-and-ete-eua-factsheet-hcp.pdf.