CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A new COVID-19 treatment called monoclonal antibody treatment has been brought to Corpus Christi, and its effects are being studied at a local clinic.
KRIS 6 is looking into how it works and how it’s helping local patients who’ve tested positive for the virus.
The treatment is not FDA approved but it’s being offered to COVID-19 positive patients at Crossroads Clinical Research.
When people get coronavirus, their immune systems create antibodies to fight the disease. A monoclonal antibody treatment works by taking antibodies from the first person in the United States to recover from COVID-19 and make billions of copies of their antibodies. Those antibodies are then injected into a patient’s bloodstream to reduce the symptoms of COVID-19.
“By injecting and infusing someone with these antibodies who has COVID-19, it’s giving them the protection that the first person who has already recovered has,” said Jerry Plemons, a medical researcher at the clinical.
The monoclonal antibody treatment is different from convalescent plasma treatment, where antibodies are taken from a recently recovered COVID-19 patients and used to treat others. With convalescent plasma treatments, a donor must donate their blood.
“The benefit of this, monoclonal treatment, is that you don’t have to wait for someone to recover,” said Plemons. “This will be a relatively unlimited supply.”
Plemons says in the few weeks they’ve studied monoclonal antibody treatment and its effects on patients, they’ve seen promising results.
“We had one gentleman come in and you could tell he was really sick,” said Plemons. “He had that grey, ashen look and the next day he said ‘I feel great.’”
Crossroads Clinical Research also offers free COVID-19 testing with results back in as little as 15 minutes. The hope is that once the FDA approves monoclonal antibody treatment, “you’ll go to your doctor and get tested within 15 minutes. If you’re positive, you go into the next room. You get this treatment and you’ll be well in a few days, or recover,” said Plemons.
Medical researchers will follow up with all patients for a month to monitor their systems. They’re also studying how much of a dosage is needed for each patient.
The treatment is free and will be offered until at least mid-September. It’s available to any patient who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is showing symptoms. A similar study is also being done in Victoria.
“I’m very confident this will make a difference and help people recover from the virus for the next few months,” said Plemons.