Winchester, Georgetown, Versailles hospitals start COVID antibody treatment
GEORGETOWN, WINCHESTER, VERSAILLES, Ky. (WTVQ) – Three area hospitals now are offering – Clark Regional Medical Center, Georgetown Community Hospital in Georgetown and Bluegrass Community Hospital in Versailles — two new monoclonal antibody therapies, (1) bamlanivimab and (2) casirivimab – imdevimab, for treatment of non-hospitalized patients with a mild or moderate case of COVID-19.
Spencer Bolton, Clark Regional Medical Center Pharmacy Director, said the antibody treatment is given by an infusion that takes about an hour. He said it needs to be given within 10 days of symptoms starting.
“It’s meant to catch the virus early while people still have mild to moderate symptoms,” said Bolton. “It’s able to help them recover quickly and keep them out of the hospital.”
Dee Losh, Clark Regional Medical Center RN and ER Case Manager, said most of patients feel better within 24 to 48 hours. If they don’t, she said their symptoms are the same but they don’t feel worse.
“They don’t have to go as far they’re already feeling bad and under the weather, so they can just come just a few minutes down the road and get their outpatient infusion and go right back home,” said Losh.
Bamlanivimab is a one drug regimen while casirivimab – imdevimab has two drug components.
Developed by pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. respectively, the drugs recently received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are now being allocated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in partnership with various agencies including the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that potentiate the patient’s immune system’s ability to fight off harmful viruses.
Bamlanivimab and casirivimab – imdevimab are specifically designed to help block the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus and prevent the virus from further infecting healthy cells. Administered intravenously, this innovative treatment is designed to help lessen the severity of COVID-19 in individuals who are COVID-19-positive and are at risk for developing a severe form of the disease.
Patients must meet specific clinical criteria, including: (1) having a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19; (2) having mild or moderate symptoms that first appeared within 10 days of infusion; (3) having underlying health conditions or are 65 years of age or older. Potential patients should be stable enough not to require hospitalization. Bamlanivimab and casirivimab – imdevimab are investigational treatments and patients must be informed of this fact.
The hospitals’ supply is limited and requires an order from the patient’s medical provider.