Jonesboro hospital responds to recent change in antibody treatments

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:46 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Food and Drug Administration has stopped some monoclonal antibody treatments.

On Monday, Jan. 24, the agency announced that Regeneron and Eli Lilly antibody infusions are no longer authorized for use to treat COVID-19 in the U.S.

According to the FDA, the treatments are ineffective in treating the omicron variant, which makes up 99% of new cases in the U.S.

Ty Jones, director of marketing at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, said the Arkansas Department of Health shared similar data with them a few weeks ago.

“So, those were the original monoclonal antibodies that we began treatment with here at NEA Baptist,” Jones said.

When their staff received that data, they started to make changes.

“We were then able to stop the scheduling of those,” Jones said.

Now that the original antibody treatments are no longer used, the hospital switched to another option to treat patients.

According to Jones, NEA Baptist is using an antibody injection named sotrovimab.

“We’re doing that based on the risk score that Arkansas Department of Health has given us of who best fit the criteria to receive those,” he said.

The number of mutations omicron carries is a factor in the previous treatments not working anymore.

Jones said it was essential to stay updated on what works because of hospitalization increases.

“That research is provided to us and then delivered to us. We’re able to make those decisions. Oh, yeah, let’s drop this, let’s move on to the next one,” he said.

Other treatments like the pills from Pfizer and Merck are available to treat COVID patients but on a limited basis.

The FDA said that if those treatments are effective against future variants, they may reauthorize their use.

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