Monoclonal Antibody Therapy to Treat COVID-19 Available to Those Who Qualify – NBC 7 San Diego


A remedy newly authorized by the FDA for emergency use to assist sufferers who check optimistic for COVID-19 is now accessible to most of the people in San Diego County exterior a hospital setting at Palomar Health’s downtown Escondido hospital campus.

This is the one monoclonal antibody remedy accessible to most of the people, by means of a partnership with the County of San Diego.

Monoclonal anti-body remedy has been used for greater than 30 years to deal with most cancers and infectious ailments. And hospitals have been utilizing it to deal with COVID-19 sufferers with success for the reason that FDA emergency authorization.

“Millions of years of evolution have taught us how to fight a virus, and we’re taking that technology, that ability, that the human body has, and we’re just duplicating it,” mentioned Chief Medical Officer for Palomar Health, Omar Khawaja, MD, MBA.

Normally, whenever you get a virus your physique has an immune response and creates antibodies, however that does not occur with COVID-19 as it’s a new virus.

That is when science can step in, mentioned Khawaja, MD, MBA “What we’ve done is we have actually taken those antibodies cloned them in a lab,” including that not solely are the anti-bodies cloned, however the scientific course of could make far more of them.

And when infused into the bloodstream these monoclonal antibodies get to work, “This binds to the virus and sort of handcuffs it so that it can’t do the bad things that it would normally do inside your body,” mentioned  Khawaja, MD, MBA. And it’s totally different from a vaccine which takes months to set off your individual antibodies.

At Palomar Health’s facility on East Valley Parkway up to 50 sufferers a day can obtain the IV infusion injected by a nurse or doctor’s assistant.

The infusion takes about 16 minutes and the entire process takes about an hour and half together with prep and affected person monitoring for any allergic reactions or unintended effects following the remedy. Palomar Health mentioned they haven’t had any points up to now.

People who qualify for monoclonal anti-body remedy on the facility have examined optimistic for COVID-19 and are 65 and up or have a pre-existing situation.

And timing is vital because the remedy have to be administered inside concerning the first ten days of signs. “Unfortunately, if you let that virus start to spread inside of your body it just overwhelms what the therapy can do so you really want to catch it early,” mentioned Khawaja, MD, MBA.

And catching it early with this very efficient remedy means much less individuals want hospital care, making it one other super instrument within the struggle towards COVID-19.

“I think that we know how to treat the disease as best we can at this point, we know how in the community to really come together and support each other to stop the spread and we have a vaccine that from all accounts is highly effective,” mentioned Khawaja, MD, MBA.

People 65 and up who check optimistic for COVID-19 can inquire concerning the remedy straight, others with pre-existing circumstances will want to get a referral from their doctor.

Palomar Health mentioned there isn’t any value for monoclonal anti-body remedy on the downtown Escondido Palomar Health campus. It is roofed by insurance coverage or by San Diego County, if the affected person doesn’t have insurance coverage.


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