Area hospitals shifting treatment options after FDA restricts use of two monoclonal antibody treatments

The Food and Drug Administration is restricting the use of the Bamlanivimab and Regeneron antibody treatments, because the data has shown the drugs are not effe
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:53 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As the Food and Drug Administration makes changes to approve treatments to fight COVID-19, Louisville-area hospitals are also changing their approach to treatment.

As of Monday, the FDA removed emergency use authorization from the Bamlanivimab and Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatments, citing their ineffectiveness against the omicron variant of COVID-19.

“It’s been off our list for now some weeks,” Norton Healthcare Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Joseph Flynn said.

Flynn told WAVE News Norton Healthcare is turning to a multi-pronged approach to patient care. The approach includes new antibody treatments (e.g. Sotrovimab) and the two antiviral pills created by Pfizer and Merck.

However, the supply of the drugs is limited.

“[We’re] really trying to take those at highest risk and get them the treatments they need,” Flynn said. “And those that, if you’re following along, and they do have truly mild COVID that see if they out-time themselves from a standpoint of risk for bad outcomes.”

Across the street at UofL Health, the administration has also shifted their resources to care for those patients considered high-risk for the virus.

Dr. Hugh Schoff said the change in treatments has meant his team has had to adjust just as quickly.

“We have one treatment for one variant and then all of a sudden we get a new variant that comes around and that treatment doesn’t work,” Schoff said. “Well, a lot of effort and time went into that treatment and development of that treatment. Not to say that it might not work for another variant that comes along, etc. But now here we are starting with a new variant and a new treatment and trying to find a new way to battle this. And so it just kind of shows that this virus is just going to continually challenge us in a sense of what we can do for patients and what we need to do as a community around them.”

The FDA could reinstate one or both of those antibody treatments if they prove effective against another variant.

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