February 16th Update
Monoclonal Antibody Treatment at Aegis Living
While we await the day when COVID is just a distant memory, there is more great news to share. In November, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for two monoclonal antibody treatments: Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab and Regeneron’s casirivimab and imdevimab. A recent study by Eli Lilly of the treatment’s use in a skilled nursing facility shows high potential for our residents. Researchers found a risk reduction of up to 80% in contracting symptomatic COVID-19 infection among residents who got the drug, compared with those who got a placebo.
We are now able to make use of this treatment in all our communities, so we want to make sure Aegis families are aware of this opportunity and know we are here to answer any questions you may have. Below you will find a few of the most common questions and answers, as well as sources for more information. You can also reach out to your community’s Health Services Director, who also has all the details and is happy to discuss them with you.
We certainly hope to have very little occasion to use this medicine—there should be less and less possibility with each vaccine administered—but it is reassuring to have such a powerful treatment available to us.
Skilled nursing facility study:
“Eli Lilly’s antibody therapy helps prevent Covid-19 in nursing homes, drugmaker says,” CNN.com, January 21, 2021
“Drug Prevents Coronavirus Infection in Nursing Homes, Maker Claims,” The New York Times, January 21, 2021
“Lilly: Drug can prevent COVID-19 illness in nursing homes,” Modern Healthcare, January 21, 2021
Monoclonal Antibody Treatment: Frequently Asked Questions
When should monoclonal antibody treatments be administered?
These drugs are indicated for the treatment of adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 or hospitalization. Most of our residents who contract COVID would be considered at risk, as being age 65 or older is considered a risk factor. There is a list of requirements to qualify for this treatment that our nurse will review. They must have received a positive PCR or antigen test for COVID-19—antibody tests do not count. The treatment must be given within 10 days of symptom onset.
Who should not be given this treatment?
Again, this treatment is only for those who have tested positive for COVID-19, are within 10 days of the onset of symptoms, and are considered high risk. It should not be given to those who are already hospitalized with COVID-19 or those who require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19 or other underlying health conditions.
How does the treatment work?
These monoclonal antibodies are lab-made proteins that are directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. They are designed to block the virus’s attachment and entry into human cells. Based on preliminary studies, the IV infusion treatment reduced progression to severe disease, reduced viral load, and reduced the risk of hospitalization and emergency department visits.
What are the side effects?
Reported side effects include nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, pruritus, and vomiting. In the bamlanivimab test group, there was one case of anaphylaxis reported.
Sources: Fact Sheet for Health Care Providers Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of Bamlanivimab; FDA announcements on casirivimab and imdevimab and bamlanivimab
How will this work within an Aegis Living community?
Please reach out to your Health Services Director for details.