SGMC deals with limited supply of COVID-19 antibody treatment

Jan. 28—VALDOSTA — After federal guidelines on hospital COVID-19 treatments were recently revised, South Georgia Medical Center is using only one type of monoclonal antibody to treat patients with the disease.

Until last week, the monoclonal antibodies bamlanivimab and etesevimab (which are administered together) and REGEN-COV had been used by hospitals against the pandemic-causing virus.

Then the Food and Drug Administration announced Monday, Jan. 24, that those treatments did not seem to work against the current omicron variant of COVID-19. The two treatments are now authorized by the FDA to treat only non-omicron pandemic cases.

Omicron accounts for 99% of all hospital COVID-19 cases now; "therefore, it's highly unlikely that COVID-19 patients seeking care in the U.S. at this time are infected with a variant other than omicron, and these treatments are not authorized to be used at this time," the FDA said in a statement.

"Monoclonal antibodies" are man-made proteins which mimic the body's ability to fight off harmful microbes, the statement said.

Because of the FDA decision, South Georgia Medical Center is not using bamlanivimab/etesevimab and REGEN-COV.

SGMC is administering the monoclonal antibody Sotrovimab for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in select adults and pediatric patients ages 12 and older, the hospital said in a statement.

Sotrovimab is authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization.

Due to the limited supply of Sotrovimab, the treatment is only available for select patients at the hospital's emergency department, the hospital said.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.