As confirmed cases of the coronavirus continue to rise throughout the country, monoclonal antibody treatments, such as the one created by Regeneron, are becoming a widespread source of treatment.
Across the state of Tennessee, dozens of locations are providing the treatment to individuals who have tested positive for the virus.
The “antibody cocktail” is the same that former President Donald Trump received after he contracted the virus, and it is intended to be administered only after a patient has contracted the disease.
Fox 17 explained how it works:
Part of the reason the treatment has been thrust to the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 is the FDA’s approval of Regeneron’s REGEN-COV antibody cocktail for people who have been exposed to the virus instead of only being approved for use in those who have already been infected. The FDA approval letter to Regeneron states “it is reasonable to believe” the treatment “may be effective for use as post-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 in individuals who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.”
Regeneron followed up the approval with an announcement of their own, stating “Today’s FDA authorization enables certain people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection to access REGEN-COV if they have been exposed to the virus – the first time an antibody treatment has been authorized for this purpose. With this authorization, the FDA specifically highlights the needs of immunocompromised people, including those taking immunosuppressive medicines, who may not mount an adequate response to vaccination, who are exposed to a person with COVID-19 or are in an institutional setting and are at high risk of exposure because of infection occurring in the same setting.”
According to NBC 10, the treatment is given through an IV.
“Clinical trials indicate that most of the treatments work most effectively for non-hospitalized patients in the early stages of COVID-19, according to The Summit Medical Group,” the news station said.
“It makes a huge difference,” Dr. Mark Wilkinson told WJHL. He detailed that the treatment, which was granted Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19, has seemingly prevented hospitalization in many patients.
“We are stretched thin with our resources and our bed capacity is pushed to the limits and so every patient we can keep out of the hospital is a great win for the health system and the region as a whole.”
Wilkinson said the number of infusions has been growing each week since July.
The comprehensive list of locations throughout Tennessee to receive the treatment is available here.
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