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St. Francis utilizes third antibody treatment while FDA limits use of two others

13 NEWS at 10 p.m.
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 8:52 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The FDA announced Tuesday that two monoclonal antibody treatments should no longer be used to treat COVID patients, because they don’t work against the omicron variant.

KDHE’s dashboard shows 96% of the cases sampled the last two weeks are omicron.

St. Francis says it already began adjusting the treatment offered earlier this month.

“The big difference between the omicron versus the previous variants is that it escapes these antibodies,” said Dr. Prateek Ghatage, Infectious Disease specialist at The University of Kansas. Health System St. Francis Campus

The variant now makes up more than 99% of cases in the U.S. and 96% in Kansas.

St. Francis says it stopped using the two antibody drugs earlier this month and switched to one that is shown to be effective against omicron.

“Now we user Sotrovimab which is a newer antibody and the difference between that and the previous ones is that it works for the entire family of sars- CoV viruses,” said Dr. Ghatage. “It is more resistant to becoming more obsolete with minor mutations in the virus.”

Stormont Vail told 13 NEWS it has used Sotrovimab as its sole monoclonal antibody treatment since December 29th as well.

Dr. Ghatage says relying on just one antibody treatment does create a bit of a supply issue.

“We have eleven doses ready and we’re going to get twenty-four doses tomorrow and it is allocated by the state so it depends how much the state gets and they allocate to different hospitals so it does create a slight supply issue, i would say if we were to use Regeneron even if the FDA didn’t revoke the EUA at this point it is useless.”

Dr. Ghatage says not every patient is treated with antibodies, they’re used in cases where it’s most effective.

“I am a thirty-three year old guy who has had his shots, if I were to get COVID, I don’t think I would benefit that much from monoclinal antibodies because I have already had the vaccine,” said Dr. Ghatage. “I already have my own antibodies versus someone who is sixty years old and has diabetes and heart disease, they’re going to have much more benefit from monoclonal antibodies.”

Dr. Ghatage says the best treatment for COVID-19 happens before you contract the virus, like getting vaccinated and boosted.

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