What is monoclonal antibody therapy?
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced molecules engineered to serve as substitute antibodies that can restore, enhance or mimic the immune system's attack on cells. Monoclonal antibodies are designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus. It is designed to limit viral replication and may be effective for the treatment of COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.
When administered to non-hospitalized patients as soon as possible after positive viral testing for SARS-CoV-2 and within 10 days of symptom onset, monoclonal antibodies may reduce viral load, symptoms, and risk of hospitalizations and emergency room visits associated with COVID-19.
Monoclonal antibody treatment is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms. These treatments are allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) while clinical studies continue to look at their usefulness and safety. Of the current treatment options available, casirivimab + imdevimab has recently been granted expanded authorization for post-exposure prophylasxis in select high-risk adult and pediatric populations.
Additional information on monoclonal antibody therapy can be found at the US Department of Health and Human Services' Combating COVID website.