Tags: Coronavirus | Trump With Coronavirus | antibody treatment | regeneron | eli lilly | distribution | supply

COVID-19 Antibody Treatments Promising but in Limited Supply

regeneron covid treatment is shown in a bottle with a syringe
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:58 AM

The two promising COVID-19 antibody treatments that aim to keep high-risk patients out of the hospital are extremely limited in supply, forcing doctors to prioritize who will be in line for them, NBC News reported.  

The treatments have to be given shortly after a person tests positive and before severe symptoms begin — and involve an hour-long intravenous infusion. The three highest-profile recipients — President Donald Trump, Housing Secretary Ben Carson, and ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — all credited the drugs for their recoveries from the virus.

But doses of the drugs, one made by Regeneron and the other by Eli Lilly, are in short supply, the news outlet reported.

As many as 30,000 doses of Regeneron's treatment are already being distributed, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Monday, NBC News reported, with an additional 50,000 doses expected within one week. Eli Lilly has distributed about 120,000 doses.

That doesn’t come even close to covering the number of new cases diagnosed every day in the United States; the seven-day average is 170,000 new cases a day, NBC News noted.

"It is very challenging," Dr. Raymund Razonable, an infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told the news outlet. "What we're doing is assessing who among our patients are most likely going to be at highest risk, and then considering them a priority."

The Food and Drug Administration says the Regeneron and Eli Lilly treatments should not be given to already hospitalized patients, or those on oxygen — which means neither Trump, Carson, nor Christie would've qualified, NBC News reported.

Razonable said his team of experts determining which patients should be given the drug includes a group of lawyers "to make sure that we're allocating the drugs without any bias," according to NBC News.

Another infectious disease expert, Dr. Tara Vijayan at University of California, Los Angeles Health, is developing the medical center's distribution plan for the monoclonal antibodies, aiming to make equity a priority.

"We absolutely have to do our part to make sure that it's delivered equitably and reach out to high-risk populations," Vijayan told NBC News.

The supply squeeze should ease going forward, NBC News reported.

According to Regeneron, it’ll have enough doses of its treatment for approximately 200,000 patients by the first week of January. Eli Lilly anticipates manufacturing up to 1 million doses by the end of 2020, the news outlet reported.

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The two promising COVID-19 antibody treatments that aim to keep high-risk patients out of the hospital are extremely limited in supply, forcing doctors to prioritize who will be in line for them, NBC News reported. The treatments have to be given shortly after a person tests...
antibody treatment, regeneron, eli lilly, distribution, supply
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2020-58-25
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:58 AM
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