The Food and Drugs Administration has cleared COVID antibody therapy for use as a preventative measure after exposure to the coronavirus.
Why is this important: Although the FDA has said it should not be considered a vaccine substitute, monoclonal antibodies can protect against serious illness by overwhelming the infection before it leaves the nose and throat, the researchers say.
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Expanded FDA clearance means REGEN-COV can be given by injection. The first dose should be injected within 96 hours of exposure.
People eligible for its use should be unvaccinated or immunocompromised, at high risk of serious infection, and in close contact with someone who tests positive.
Clinical trials show that treatment can reduce the risk of developing symptoms by more than 30%. It has been shown to prevent the need for emergency room visits and hospitalization.
What they say : “It’s a race between your ability to make an antibody to protect your lungs and the rest of your body and the virus, ”Myron Cohen, a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one of the researchers at the origin of the COVID antibody study, told NBC News.
“And if you are likely to lose the race, then you are the person for whom these antibody drugs are suitable.”
This will help people who don’t respond well to vaccines or don’t make antibodies themselves, according to Ghady Haidar, an infectious disease transplant physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
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