News

Samaritan Medical Center Offers Outpatient Monoclonal Antibody Therapy for COVID-19

Published on: February 19, 2021

Watertown, N.Y. – Samaritan Medical Center recently began offering outpatient monoclonal antibody therapy to help COVID-19-positive patients recovering at home and to meet the increased demand for this therapy type. This treatment has shown to work well at minimizing symptoms and shortening recovery time for COVID-19-positive patients.

The therapy is being offered in a dedicated section of the hospital, separate from other patient populations, utilizing equipment and staff expertise from the existing outpatient Infusion Unit. The clinic is open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized adults and adolescents (12 years of age and older who weigh at least 88 pounds [40 kg]) who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. The goal is to treat patients quickly and prevent symptoms from progressing to severe illness. Monoclonal antibody therapy is not a new treatment and has been given emergency use authorization for treatment of COVID-19 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to the FDA, a recent clinical trial of patients with COVID-19 at high risk for disease progression found that a single intravenous infusion of two monoclonal antibodies (bamlanivimab and etesevimab) administered together significantly reduced COVID-19-related hospitalization and death during 29 days of follow-up compared to placebo.

“With COVID-19 cases on the decline and vaccine distribution broadening, monoclonal antibody therapy will decrease the risk of progression to severe disease and help patients recover faster,” said Dr. Marylene Duah, Infectious Disease Physician at Samaritan. “Samaritan is proud to offer any service possible that can speed recovery and prevent further COVID-19-related deaths in our community, and it is encouraging to see this therapy producing positive results for COVID-19-positive patients.”

Monoclonal antibody therapy has also been offered to residents of Samaritan’s long-term care facilities who meet criteria, both at the outpatient clinic and in residences.

“Residents at Samaritan Summit Village and Samaritan Keep Home benefited early on from this therapy,” said Dr. Collins F. Kellogg, Jr., Samaritan Long-Term Care Medical Director. “Since many of our residents are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms, and some have mobility restrictions, being able to offer monoclonal antibody therapy on-site has been incredibly helpful. We have been very pleased with the results.”

Currently, only physicians on the Samaritan Medical Center Medical Staff are able to refer their patients for this therapy. Patients should speak to their primary care provider about this therapy if they are interested.