ORLANDO, Fla. – AdventHealth opened a new clinic offering monoclonal antibody therapies for COVID-19 patients.
The clinic is at AdventHealth Orlando’s campus and is separate from the COVID-19 unit in the ER. They’re offering the antibody treatments to help keep people out of the hospital so they can recover from COVID-19 at home.
The 11-chair outpatient infusion unit is currently treating adult patients with the monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab, as well as a combination therapy of the monoclonal antibody treatments casirivimab and imdevimab, commonly known as Regeneron.
President Donald Trump was treated with Regeneron during his time at the hospital when he tested positive for the coronavirus in October.
“In clinical trials, the treatments were shown to reduce hospital stays in patients at high risk for developing a more severe case of the disease,” said Dr. Vincent Hsu, infection control officer at AdventHealth.
Hsu said cases are rising in Florida and they’re seeing more patients with the virus. The goal is to keep people out of the hospital.
“We’ve treated several dozen so far. We anticipate there will be more coming down the pipeline. In fact, the demand is quite strong,” Hsu said.
Patients will have to get a doctor’s prescription for the treatment that focuses on a specific group of people fighting the virus.
“Those who have mild to moderate disease, they cannot be in the hospital for COVID, they are not on supplemental oxygen. We found that it didn’t work well with those who have more severe cases. Those patients over 65 or under 65, with some sort of chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure. Someone at greater risk of developing a more severe disease ... It has to be within ten days of their diagnosis,” Hsu said.
The infusions take over an hour, with patients being monitored to make sure they don’t have any adverse reactions. There is a separate location for COVID-19 patients ages 12-17 to receive the antibody treatment.
AdventHealth plans to open additional antibody-infusion clinics in Orange City and Tavares in January.