What to Know About Monoclonal Antibodies as COVID-19 Treatments

COVID-19 is once again surging throughout the U.S., but deaths from the disease don’t seem to be following suit. That’s partly because many people have some level of immunity from vaccination or previous infection, but also because we now have an arsenal of tools to treat the disease. Monoclonal antibodies were the first to arrive, and earlier on, they were considered the first line of defense against the disease. Over the course of the pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized four monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 and one to help prevent the disease in people who can’t get or benefit from vaccines. But the new variants have rendered all but one of the antibody treatments ineffective; the antiviral drug Paxlovid is now the first choice for most patients at risk of severe disease, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines. Still “monoclonal antibodies are going to continue to play a role and are probably going to continue to be updated for the new variants,” says Dr. James Cutrell, an infectious disease specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Here’s what we know about how well the monoclonal antibodies are working, and who might benefit from them. What are monoclonal antibodies? When the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the body, it breaks into the cells and uses them to replicate itself. The spike proteins protruding from the vir...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 healthscienceclimate Source Type: news