Monoclonal Antibodies & Covid-19

You can kind of think of them as smart bombs - Rodney E. Rohde

Monoclonal Antibodies & Covid-19

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What monoclonal antibodies are – and why we need them as well as a vaccine

... the public has learned about many treatments being used to combat COVID-19. An antiviral like remdesivir inhibits the virus from replicating in human cells. Convalescent plasma from the blood of donors who have recovered from COVID-19 may contain antibodies that suppress the virus and inflammation. Steroids like dexamethasone may modify and reduce the dangerous inflammatory damage to the lungs, thereby slowing respiratory failure...

Monoclonal antibodies are particularly promising in therapy because they can neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, and block its ability to infect a cell. This might be a lifesaving intervention in people who are unable to mount a…

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 What monoclonal antibodies are – and why we need them as well as a vaccine

These man-made antibodies offer the world the possibility of immunotherapy similar to the use of convalescent plasma but with a more targeted and accurate action. While a vaccine will ultimately help protect the public, vaccination will not be an instantaneous event, delivering vaccine to 100% of the population. Nor do we know how effective it will be.


Monoclonal antibody treatments have been authorized by the FDA for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last ten days, who are 12 years of age and older, and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. This also includes people who are 65 years of age or older or who have certain chronic medical conditions.


For high-risk individuals, a positive COVID-19 test doesn’t mean simply staying home in isolation and worrying about whether your illness will get worse. If a high-risk patient tests positive for COVID-19 and has mild-to-moderate symptoms, new monoclonal antibody treatments could provide real help – not just hope.

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