Mayo Clinic, Houston Methodist physicians report positive results with COVID-19 antibody drugs

Physicians at Mayo Clinic and Houston Methodist Hospital have reported positive results in treating COVID-19 patients with COVID-19 antibody drugs from Eli Lilly and Regeneron, NPR reported. 

Many doses of the drugs have remained unused by hospitals around the country because of logistical issues. The drugs must be given early in a patient's course of illness, and they can't receive the infusions in the same area as patients who do not have COVID-19.  The National Institutes of Health has stated there's not enough evidence to know whether the drugs are effective, NPR reported. 

But Howard Huang, MD, medical director of lung transplantation at Houston Methodist Hospital, told NPR that the health system has seen success in opening clinics around Houston to administer the antibody drugs. The hospital had treated more than 1,100 patients with the drugs as of Jan. 4, Dr. Huang said. 

Mayo Clinic physicians have treated more than 2,000 patients with the drugs as of Jan. 5, NPR reported. The Rochester, Minn.-based health system was involved in clinical trials of COVID-19 antibody drugs, so it began planning on how to administer them well before they were authorized. 

One strategy Mayo Clinic used was to move some medical practices out of their locations  to be repurposed as infusion centers for COVID-19 patients, NPR reported. 

The health system said it has seen the drugs resulting in lower-than-expected hospitalization rates, and physicians told NPR they are encouraged by the data. 

Read the full article here.


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