New drug antibody transfusion treatment may help COVID-19 patients

New drug antibody transfusion treatment may help COVID-19 patients

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There’s a treatment that doctors are giving to COVID-19 patients who are at high risk to help prevent virus from getting worse.

Allen Schlenberg contracted COVID-19 in late November. For him, it started off as a simple cough, that led to difficulty breathing. Finally, he had to go to the emergency room.

“I was not getting better, so like every day was just like continuing and progressing, and I didn’t see any relief in sight,” Schlenberg says.

However, his doctors at Our Lady of the Lake (OLOL) decided to put him on “The Bam.” It’s an antibody transfusion treatment for high-risk COVID-19 patients.

“It’s probably one of the hardest names of any drug to say. It’s called Bamlanivimab. So, if you just call it ‘the bam’ everyone knows what you’re talking about,” Dr. Hollis O’Neal, who is the medical research director at OLOL, says.

For more information on what Bamlanivimab is and what it does, click here.

For Schlenberg, it was a game-changer.

“I think it’s a lifesaver for me, I honestly believe that if I didn’t receive it I would have ended up in the hospital,” he says.

The FDA approved the treatment under an emergency use authorization. Typically, doctors can only use this antibody transfusion within the first 10 days when the patient starts having symptoms, and only patients who are having major symptoms can get the treatment.

According to the FDA, the Bam cocktail is made up of antibodies and lab-made proteins. It is expected to stop the illness from progressing.

“I think that in the right population if we could pick the right group of people to give it to and we are able to give it early enough, it may prevent the progression to a severe illness,” Dr. O’Neal adds.

For Schlenberg, the Bam iv cocktail did its job. He is home now with only a slight cough and getting back to normal every single day.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.