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VCU Health begins COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy

Unidentifiable female doctor and woman looking at X-ray Photo: Getty Images

VCU Medical Center is now offering COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusion therapy to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk COVID-19 patients.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization of monoclonal antibody therapy for clearly defined groups of people. See below. You do not have to be a current VCU Health patient to qualify. However, referrals are required.

Therapy consists of treatment with casirivimab and imdevimab (Regeneron) injected intravenously. Sessions last approximately 2–2 ½ hours, which includes one hour of infusion and one hour of post-treatment observation. Only one session is necessary.

Treatment should be started as soon as possible after developing symptoms and being diagnosed with COVID-19 using an antigen or PCR test. Treatment can be given up to 10 days after developing symptoms.

If you are COVID-19 positive, you may qualify for monoclonal antibody therapy as a treatment.

Criteria

You may qualify if you are an outpatient with COVID-19 with mild-to-moderate symptoms < 10 days, without new or worsening oxygen requirement, and are at greater risk for developing more serious symptoms that may require hospitalization, such as:

  • BMI > 25
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Immunosuppressive disease and/or medication
  • Age > 65 years of age
  • Cardiovascular disease, or hypertension, or chronic lung disease, or a number of other chronic medical problems
  • Pregnancy

If you have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 but you have been exposed and are at high risk for severe disease, you may qualify for monoclonal antibody therapy as a preventive measure (prophylaxis). 

Criteria

Outpatients who meet the following criteria are eligible:

  • Adults not fully vaccinated or not expected to mount an adequate immune response to vaccination

  • You have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 consistent with close contact criteria per the CDC

  • You are at high risk of exposure to an individual with COVID-19 because someone within your institutional setting has been infected

Exclusion criteria

Patients who meet the criteria below are not eligible for the monoclonal antibody therapy:

  • You are hospitalized due to COVID-19.
  • You require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19.
  • You are on chronic oxygen therapy due to an underlying non-COVID condition and require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19

To learn whether you qualify for infusion therapy

Contact your doctor to discuss whether this therapy is right for you. If your doctor feels you are a candidate for this treatment, he or she will reach out to the infusion therapy clinic on your behalf.  Do not call us on your own. We are only accepting patients referred to us by their doctor.

 

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