Doctors looking at monoclonal antibody therapy to treat COVID-19


PITTSBURGH (NewsNation Now) — Infectious disease experts are touting an immune therapy that’s been around for years as an option to not just treat people with COVID-19, but also possibly prevent it.

Dr. Dimiter Dimitrov is director of the University of Pittsburgh’s center for antibody therapeutic and he’s been studying monoclonal antibodies as a treatment for years.

He spoke with NewsNation’s Marni Hughes about the antibodies, how the therapy is already being used to fight other common conditions like asthma, allergies, arthritis and even cancer.

Dimitrov says the therapy is more effective and safer than convalescent plasma therapy, which uses the blood of someone who has recovered from the virus. There are still potential side effects of monoclonal antibody therapy.

“Typically there are so called infusion reactions during the administration of the antibody from the IV injections you can get some complications, said Dimitrov. “But they’re not life threatening.”

Monoclonal antibody therapy is administered through an IV in a hospital and can take up to a few hours.

Several companies are currently in clinical trials and its already shown promising results in mice.
Dimitrov said if proven effective and given the green light by the FDA, it could be ready by the end of the year. He believes it will save lives.

“It saved lives in Australia,” said Dimitrov. “This is 90 to 100 percent sure, these antibodies will save lives.”

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