New COVID-19 Antibody Treatment Seeing Initial Success

Ohio – Hospitals across the state of Ohio continue to see increased numbers of COVID-19 patients, a new antibody treatment has been given emergency use authorization by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

For patients at Kettering Health Network, they’re already seeing encouraging results.

Jeanie Stivers is an associate professor of nursing at Kettering College who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

“My husband and I were taking all of the precautions,” Stivers said. “In fact, I think we were probably even more diligent than some. But we were surprised to find out that we contracted COVID.”

Stivers and her husband both have pre-existing health conditions, which made her worry that their symptoms could become severe.

“We’ve all heard the horror stories of even healthy people dying from this,” she said. “So, that was a very scary thing when you have something like this, especially when you’re in the high risk category.”

Thankfully for Jeanie and her husband, doctors at Kettering Health Network had an answer to aid their recoveries.

A new synthetic COVID-19 antibody treatment called bamlanivimab was recently granted emergency FDA approval to treat patients. Dr. Patrick Lytle explains how it works.

“What this does, it binds up the virus and stops it from multiplying,” Lytle said. “So it shortens the ability of the virus to continue this inflammatory response.”

The antibody treatment tries to reverse symptoms before they get worse. The treatment is administered through an IV infusion, where patients are in and out in a couple of hours.

“They come in for about an hour infusion, we monitor them afterwards,” he said. “Because just as any drug you can have an allergic reaction to it, but they are rare. But we are seeing a significant improvement actually after the infusion and our three day follow up the patients are feeling much, much better.”

Lytle said you have to receive the treatment during a certain window after you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and have to meet certain health criteria as well. The treatment is intended for those who haven’t been hospitalized, but who are high risk for developing worsening symptoms that could end up in hospitalization.

Lytle said this new treatment can cut down hospitalizations.

“None of these patients have been admitted to the hospital, which is probably the biggest win,” he said.

Stivers and her husband are expected to make a full recovery.

“Kettering has been, I feel, at the forefront of treatments and the things they offer for this,” Stivers said. “So, I’m very, very thankful that they had this available to me.”

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