SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Coronavirus patients in Shreveport-Bossier will now have access to a new antibody treatment.

CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System announced Tuesday that it was offering a monoclonal antibody therapy for patients with COVID-19 and started administering treatment last week for those who are at greater risk for hospitalization.

CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steen Trawick said, “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.”

The emergency use of monoclonal antibodies was recently authorized by the 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.

Dr. Trawick said, “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. 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
  • 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) 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.