MVHS offers antibody treatment to fight COVID admissions

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Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) is operating an outpatient center to provide monoclonal antibody therapy for patients with COVID-19.

Monoclonal antibody therapy helps prevent hospitalization or worsening of symptoms in certain patients with COVID-19 by enhancing the body’s natural immune response to the virus, but it may not be appropriate for everyone and needs a referral from a physician.

Located on the fifth floor of the St. Luke’s Campus, 1656 Champlin Ave., Utica, the infusion center administers monoclonal antibody therapies which have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an emergency use authorization (EUA). Referrals are required. 

“We are excited to bring this option to our patients in the Mohawk Valley,” said Amy Bowerman, executive director, MVHS Home Care Services.

“Patient outcomes have proven that these treatments can improve symptoms sooner and reduce the likelihood of a patient needing hospitalization when treatment is received within 10 days of having COVID symptoms, which is critical for patients who are in the high risk group.”

The therapies being offered at the clinic are Bamlanivimab (manufactured by Eli Lilly & Co.) and a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab, administered simultaneously (known as Regeneron).

Therapy must be ordered by a physician for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients who have positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, are 12-years-old or older, weigh at least 88 pounds and are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.

High risk is defined as patients who meet at least one of the following criteria:

Have a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 35;

Have chronic kidney disease;

Have diabetes;

Have immunosuppressive disease;

Are currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment;

Are age 65 or older;

Are age 55 or older and have cardiovascular disease, or hypertension, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/other chronic respiratory disease;

Are 12 to 17-years-old and have a BMI greater than or equal to the 85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts: cdc.gov/growthcharts/clinical_charts.htm; or sickle cell disease; or congenital or acquired heart disease; or neurodevelopmental disorders, such as cerebral palsy; or a medical-related technological dependence, such as tracheostomy gastrostomy or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19); or asthma, reactive airway disease or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control.

These therapies are not authorized for use in patients who:

Are hospitalized due to COVID-19 Require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19.

Require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19 in those on chronic oxygen therapy due to an underlying non-COVID-19-related comorbidity.

Patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and meet the criteria for antibody therapy should contact their primary care provider to schedule treatment.

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