WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Experimental drugs are gaining traction to treat COVID-19 patients.
Monoclonal antibody treatment is only authorized for mild cases in patients 12 and up and while that may not seem like much, health officials say it is working.
When President Donald Trump battled COVID-19 last October, he received several drugs and therapies including dexamethasone and remdesivir.
This week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is receiving monoclonal antibody treatment from biotech company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
“Vaccines, your immune system does all the work to produce the antibody. The monoclonal antibodies are already prepared, they’re pre-engineered. So it’s immediate. Get it early enough within 72 to 120 hours, probably gonna have a pretty good chance of being effective,” United Regional Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Robert McBroom said.
Regeneron’s treatment was approved last November. The antibodies in the treatment are designed to neutralize the virus by blocking viral attachment and entry into human cells.
McBroom says this treatment has been working at United Regional.
“We’ve been using it fairly regularly and with, I think good success. But sadly, there were some individuals even some friends of mine that we couldn’t, we couldn’t get it early enough and they had a bad course and some even died from it,” McBroom said.
While these treatments are showing they work, they are still only under emergency use authorization which is not the same as FDA approval. And, health officials say vaccines are the best fight against covid.
“Your body kind of experiments with antibodies that continually improve its protection. So hopefully the vaccination will continue to adapt at the same rate that the virus does,” MSU Medical Director Dr. Keith Williamson said.
But for COVID patients with mild cases, monoclonal antibody treatment is worth trying.
“So it’s immediate. Get it early enough within 72 to 120 hours, probably gonna have a pretty good chance of being effective,” McBroom said.
New treatments that are giving a little more hope to the masses during the pandemic.
The treatment is available at United Regional’s outpatient center. The whole process takes about two hours. Patients are advised to consult with their doctor before going forward with the treatment.