The treatment, Bamlanivimab, is a monoclonal antibody to treat COVID-19. UofL Health has over 140 doses of this antibody therapy only for high risk patients.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville Health has announced the deployment of a potentially revolutionary new treatment in the fight against COVID-19.
The treatment, Bamlanivimab, is a monoclonal antibody to treat COVID-19. This is a single dose infusion specifically intended for the early treatment of the disease in certain high risk patients.
UofL Health says they have just over 140 doses of this antibody therapy and that it will only be used for high-risk patients at this time.
“We use this drug to very precisely minimize the number of hospitalizations,” said Dr. Jason Smith, chief medical officer of UofL Health.
Smith says the drug is for high-risk patients in the early stages of infection. The idea is to treat them faster, which can help them avoid hospitalization all together.
The medicine, nicknamed “Bam Land” by doctors, is basically a synthetic antibody produced in the lab and put into your body to help fight infection.
“It keeps you from having some of these serious symptoms to the virus by providing you with artificial immunity so to speak,” Smith said.
The drug is currently only available in limited places with hopes of spreading to more by the end of the week.
Administered specifically in ambulatory care facilities, it is not without side effects, warns Dr. Smith.
“An allergic reaction is by far the most serious problem you have and it’s not just with this drug,” Smith explained. “Anytime you have an antibody you are likely to have an allergic reaction with the body.”
UofL is working with its staff and other county doctors to identify these high-risk patients and get them treated immediately.
Mary & Elizabeth Hospital and UofL Health Medical Center East are all part of this initial treatment rollout, while other sites are still waiting to see if they make the cut for this treatment.
The treatment will be available for patients from tomorrow.