Monoclonal Antibodies Reduce Risk of Hospitalization From COVID-19

Patients who were most likely to suffer complications and received the therapy had a 60% reduced chance of hospitalization and death.

A recent study conducted by investigators from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has discovered that monoclonal antibodies can significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

Results from the study were published in the Open Forum Infectious Diseases, a journal of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

"The fact that we found bamlanivimab to be this effective in keeping our patients with COVID-19 out of the hospital bodes very well for the future use of the currently available monoclonal therapies, something we are studying now," Ryan Bariola, lead author on the study said. "If given early to high-risk patients, this treatment works to prevent COVID-19-related complications. We look forward to research with next-generation monoclonal antibodies and hope to continue to find safe and effective treatments for our patients."

For the study, the team of investigators analyzed data from the first 232 patients who were treated with bamlanivimab out of a total population of 2,600. They then compared the data with a matched set of patients who had a similar age and health status and were infected with COVID-19 but did not receive the treatment.

Findings from the study demonstrated that the monoclonal antibodies reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by 60% in those who are most likely to suffer from complications due to COVID-19.

Older patients were seen to be most affected by the therapy, with those aged 65 and older being nearly 3 times less likely to be hospitalized or die in the month following treatment.

Additionally, it was also observed that the earlier patients received the therapy, the stronger positive effect it had on the treatment of the virus.

"If there's one key take-away that we're seeing in our data, it's this: If you get COVID-19 and are at higher risk for severe illness, ask your doctor about monoclonal antibodies," Graham Snyder, medical director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology at UPMC and associate professor in Pitt's School of Medicine said. "Don't hesitate. Early treatment, while your symptoms are still mild, may be essential."