A monoclonal antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron cut the risk of hospitalization and death by 70% when given to high-risk COVID-19 patients in a large clinical trial, the drug maker announced last week.
SMH was among 27 sites participating in the trial, which produced the most definitive evidence yet that the treatment can aid recovery early in the course of disease. The new results came from a Phase 3 trial that enrolled more than 4,500 patients last fall, around the time virus cases began to surge dangerously in the United States. In order to confirm a drug’s efficacy, Phase 3 trials study different populations and different dosages, and study its use in combination with other drugs.
The Regeneron cocktail study found that patients who got the infused treatment within 10 days of developing symptoms or testing positive had a roughly 70% reduced risk of being hospitalized or dying compared with patients who were infused with a placebo and reduced the median recovery time from 14 days to 10.
“From August 2020 to January 2021, SMH did a lot of this groundbreaking research, and many of our selfless, heroic patients participated as volunteers,” said Manuel Gordillo, MD, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at Sarasota Memorial. “The results are very encouraging and a potential game-changer.”
Regeneron’s cocktail of 2 antibody drugs — the same treatment given to former President Donald Trump shortly after he got sick with COVID-19 last fall — is among a handful of therapies authorized for COVID-19 patients to prevent severe disease and hospitalization. The drugs are given to patients early in the disease, when the virus is thought to be most susceptible to treatment.
Sarasota Memorial is among a number of hospitals allocated the novel monoclonal antibody therapies for non-hospitalized patients who have been diagnosed with a mild-to-moderate case of COVID-19 within the past 10 days, and have a high risk for severe disease or hospitalization.
People over age 65 are eligible for the outpatient therapy, as are those age 18 or older who have certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk for complications. A physician referral is needed to determine eligibility for the outpatient therapy. To initiate the screening process, physicians may call the SMH monoclonal antibody infusion referral line at 941-262-0135 (8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday). Physicians can leave a voicemail after hours with physician name, patient name, patient date of birth, date of positive test and best contact information for the patient. Medicare and most health plans cover the treatment for eligible plan members. People who are uninsured and/or low income are eligible for free and discounted care.
About Sarasota Memorial
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 1 million patient visits each year. Its flagship 839-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services — from urgent care, trauma and emergency services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. SMH is the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest 5-star quality rating since the evaluation system launched in 2016.