New antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients offered at CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System

CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System  announced patients now have access to a monoclonal antibody therapy for treatment of mild-to moderate SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and started administering treatment last week for COVID 19 positive patients who are at greater risk for hospitalization. 

“This treatment can be life-saving to those who are most vulnerable to severe illness. I am elated  CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier will serve the community in this capacity by providing this  treatment,” said Dr. Steen Trawick, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer,  CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System. 

The emergency use of monoclonal antibodies was recently authorized by the Food and Drug  Administration (FDA) to treat mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 infection. These antibodies  are proteins synthesized in a lab that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off the virus. While a person’s body makes a wide array of antibodies, with some being more effective at  neutralizing COVID-19 than others, these new monoclonal antibody therapies utilize a single  targeted antibody or two different targeted antibodies that have been shown to better neutralize  the coronavirus and stop its replication early in the infectious process. 

“Early results in clinical trials indicate monoclonal antibody therapy is beneficial when given  early, before a patient’s immune system has mounted an antibody response,” said Dr. Trawick.  

“This means it is important for people to be evaluated by their physician or at an Urgent Care  clinic at the first sign of symptoms.” 

This treatment is reserved for patients who are at increased risk for severe illness. Patients with  any of the following underlying medical conditions qualify for the monoclonal antibody treatments: BMI greater than 35, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, immunosuppressive  disease, those receiving immunosuppressive treatment/therapy, age over 65, cardiovascular  disease, hypertension, and chronic lung/respiratory disease.  

The current available monoclonal antibody therapy is IV Bamlanivimab. CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier is expecting the delivery of the most recently approved monoclonal antibody  cocktail (IV Casirivimab/Imdevimab – Regeneron) at some time in the near future. Both drugs  have similar indications and effectiveness. 

Patients are encouraged to speak with their primary care physicians to see if they are a candidate  for this new treatment.