COVID-19 patients in Central Florida now have the option to receive another innovative new treatment, as AdventHealth has opened a clinic offering monoclonal antibody therapies.
The 11-chair outpatient infusion unit, located on the AdventHealth Orlando campus, is treating adult patients with the monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab, as well as a combination therapy of the monoclonal antibody treatments casirivimab and imdevimab, commonly known as Regeneron. (Qualified patients ages 12-17 can receive the treatments in a separate infusion space at AdventHealth for Children.)
Both treatments are intended for those who have developed COVID-19 symptoms within the past 10 days, are not hospitalized or on oxygen, but are at high risk for progressing to a more severe case. To qualify, patients also must have a high-risk factor such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity.
Regeneron became widely known when it was administered to President Donald Trump in October during his hospital stay after he contracted COVID-19. In clinical trials, both Regeneron and bamlanivimab were shown to reduce hospitalization or ER visits in patients at high risk for developing a more severe case of the disease.
Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that mimic our immune system’s ability to fight the virus, explained Dr. Michael Cacciatore, chief medical officer of AdventHealth Medical Group in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.
“We are encouraged by early results of this treatment and pleased to offer it to patients in Central Florida,” Cacciatore said. “This important option will help keep COVID patients out of the hospital, allow them to recover in the convenience of their home, and ultimately – save lives. I encourage physicians and qualified patients in our community to take advantage of this pioneering treatment.”
The monoclonal antibodies are the latest in a suite of innovative treatments offered by AdventHealth, including remdesivir, sarilumab, dexamethasone and convalescent plasma.
Additional monoclonal-antibody infusion clinics are planned across Central Florida, with locations expected to open in January at AdventHealth Fish Memorial in Orange City and at AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares.