New COVID-19 treatment available Through Local Hospital

CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System announced patients now have access to a monoclonal antibody therapy for treatment of mild-to- moderate SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and started administering treatment last week for COVID- 19 positive patients who are at greater risk for hospitalization.  

Christus Coushatta Health Care Center is also offering this service to Red River area patients.  Local patients with underlying health conditions can be referred to Christus in Shreveport by their local physicians.

“This treatment can be life-saving to those who are most vulnerable to severe illness. I am elated CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier will serve the community in this capacity by providing this treatment,” said Dr. Steen Trawick, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System.

The emergency use of monoclonal antibodies was recently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 infection. These antibodies are proteins synthesized in a lab that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off the virus. While a person’s body makes a wide array of antibodies, with some being more effective at neutralizing COVID-19 than others, these new monoclonal antibody therapies utilize a single targeted antibody or two different targeted antibodies that have been shown to better neutralize the coronavirus and stop its replication early in the infectious process.

“Early results in clinical trials indicate monoclonal antibody therapy is beneficial when given early, before a patient’s immune system has mounted an antibody response,” said Dr. Trawick.

“This means it is important for people to be evaluated by their physician or at an Urgent Care clinic at the first sign of symptoms.”

This treatment is reserved for patients who are at increased risk for severe illness. Patients with any of the following underlying medical conditions qualify for the monoclonal antibody treatments: BMI greater than 35, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, immunosuppressive disease, those receiving immunosuppressive treatment/therapy, age over 65, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and chronic lung/respiratory disease.

The current available monoclonal antibody therapy is IV Bamlanivimab. CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier is expecting the delivery of the most recently approved monoclonal antibody cocktail (IV Casirivimab/Imdevimab – Regeneron) at some time in the near future. Both drugs have similar indications and effectiveness.

Patients are encouraged to speak with their primary care physicians to see if they are a candidate for this new treatment.