SEP 24, 2021 7:40 AM PDT

WHO Recommends Antibody Treatment for High Risk COVID-19 Patients

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a combination of two antibody treatments for patients at risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19 infection. The corresponding guidelines with details of the underlying research were published in BMJ Medicine

With the fast pace of COVID-19 research, clinicians must have access to vetted and peer-reviewed research as it becomes available so they can best manage patients. The WHO's recommendations are a part of a living guideline to provide up-to-date and trustworthy guidance to doctors. The current guidelines supersede previous recommendations made on 6 July 2021. 

The drugs recommended by the WHO are called casirivimab and imdevimab. Both are monoclonal antibodies that, when used together, bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and prevent it from infecting cells where it can then multiply. 

From three trials that are yet to be peer-reviewed, the drugs appear to reduce the risk of hospitalization and duration of symptoms in those at the highest risk of severe disease. This includes people who are unvaccinated, older, or have weaker immune systems. 

Data from the RECOVERY trials also show that the drug combo may be able to reduce the chance of death among patients who are critically and severely ill with COVID-19, as well as their need for mechanical ventilation. These benefits, however, only appear significant for those who are seronegative- those who have not yet developed an antibody response to the virus. 

While the WHO recommends the combo treatment for now, they note that it is subject to change as new variants emerge. They also note that the treatment may be of limited use in low and middle-income countries due to cost and resource implications of rapid serological tests to identify patients, and staff and equipment to deliver and monitor intravenous drug delivery and allergic reactions. 

 

Sources: BMJ MedicineEurekAlert

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
AUG 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Brain's Version of THC Reduces Seizures, Increases Side Effects
AUG 05, 2021
Brain's Version of THC Reduces Seizures, Increases Side Effects
An endocannabinoid similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that naturally occurs in the brain reduces seizure activity. Ho ...
AUG 10, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Epidemiology and postexposure prophylaxis of rabies virus
AUG 10, 2021
Epidemiology and postexposure prophylaxis of rabies virus
Rabies is a viral disease that can be transmitted from an infected animal to another animal or human. In the U ...
AUG 18, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cancer Patients Use Less Cannabis than General Public
AUG 18, 2021
Cancer Patients Use Less Cannabis than General Public
Despite increasing legalization for recreational cannabis across the US, cancer patients have largely abstained from usi ...
SEP 07, 2021
Health & Medicine
Vaccines- a Long History of Cost-Benefit Analysis
SEP 07, 2021
Vaccines- a Long History of Cost-Benefit Analysis
Vaccination and new treatments for diseases have remained topics of skepticism since their inception. When it came to an ...
SEP 16, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
A shot for sore eyes: a novel injectable drug to treat age-related vision loss
SEP 16, 2021
A shot for sore eyes: a novel injectable drug to treat age-related vision loss
According to the Population Reference Bureau, 40 million people in the United States are aged 65 and older. This nu ...
OCT 14, 2021
Immunology
'Bio-Betters' Form the Next Wave of Cancer Therapies
OCT 14, 2021
'Bio-Betters' Form the Next Wave of Cancer Therapies
  Antibodies are blood proteins with highly specialized functions: to recognize and eliminate bacteria, viruses, an ...
Loading Comments...