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MWHC Administers Region's First COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

MWHC Administers Region's First COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

Fredericksburg, VA—Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC) administered the region’s first monoclonal antibody (mAbs) treatment to a COVID-19 patient this past weekend. MWHC is offering COVID-19 positive patients, who meet specific criteria, Eli Lilly’s drug known as bamlanivimab and Regeneron’s drug known as REGN-COV2, both drugs newly approved by the FDA for emergency use.

Bamlanivimab and REGN-COV2 are monoclonal antibody (mAbs) treatments used to prevent the progression of COVID-19 disease. The mAbs is delivered through a single intravenous infusion in the early stages of the disease for high-risk patients. In clinical trials, mAbs treatment demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in hospitalizations in those at higher risk for COVID-19 complications.

“The availability of monoclonal antibody treatments is limited. However, it is a promising drug that may help prevent some high-risk patients from needing hospital-based treatment,” says Christopher Newman, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operating Officer for MWHC. “With the dramatic increases in positive patients in our region and resulting hospitalizations, the timing of receiving this drug in our community is critical.”

Because the drugs are in such short supply, there is an algorithm to identify patients most likely to benefit from the treatment. Patients cannot request this treatment. Those who qualify for the treatment will be identified by their primary care provider, urgent care provider, or emergency medical provider who will refer them to MWHC for an outpatient appointment. The mAbs treatments are provided through an outpatient infusion at either Mary Washington Hospital or Stafford Hospital.

“It is going to be months before we see a significantly increased supply of mAbs in our community,” says Dr. Newman. “In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. We need our community’s help to do their part in diminishing the spread of the virus, too.”

Mary Washington Healthcare has seen a dramatic increase in hospitalized COVID-19 patients throughout the month of November into December. As record numbers of COVID-19 rise in our community and the flu season upon us, MWHC officials continue to plead with our community to practice safety precautions to protect our healthcare workers, our families, and our neighbors. These safety precautions include: wear a mask over your nose and mouth if you need to leave your home; always wear a mask when you are in the company of anyone outside of your household; remain physically distant (six feet or more) from anyone outside of your household, and wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently.