CHICAGO — A new emergency treatment could be on the table if you contract COVID-19, but it won’t be an option for everyone.
Regeneron’s antibody cocktail called “REGEN-COV2” is the same one President Trump received while sick with the virus and has now been approved by the FDA for emergency use by patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19.
The treatment uses “monoclonal antibodies,” which are basically human antibodies made in a lab and designed to fight certain diseases.
While the FDA hasn’t given the full stamp of approval just yet, it is giving the green light for use only in patients that meet certain criteria.
Candidates are those who have mild to moderate cases but are at high risk of developing a severe case due to factors like age, weight and underlying health conditions.
Dr. Sybil Hosek with the Cook County Health Department is part of a team experimenting with Regeneron for a different cause since August: preventing the spread of COVID-19. Still, Dr. Hosek said the recently-approved treatment will be useful since a vaccine will take time to distribute.
“We know probably not everybody is going to get a vaccine, some don’t want to; those people may still be vulnerable, so having the option to have antibodies would be important” Hosek said.
Regeneron estimates 300,000 doses of its antibody cocktail will be made available in the U.S. by the end of the year for those who need it.
“There’s also people who don’t respond well to vaccines and so for those people this would also be an option; it would help jumpstart their immune system if they were infected with Covid,” Hosek said.