Tidelands Health offering groundbreaking new treatment for high-risk COVID-19 patients
Tidelands Health is among the first health care providers in South Carolina to offer a groundbreaking COVID-19 treatment that may lessen a patient’s risk of becoming hospitalized with the virus.
The not-for-profit health system is one of a just a dozen health care providers in the state to receive the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab, which received an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 9.
Bamlanivimab can be used for the treatment of patients ages 12 and older with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 or hospitalization, including those 65 and older or those with certain chronic medical conditions.
Bamlanivimab, which is administered intravenously as a single dose at a health care facility, has been shown in clinical trials to reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or ER visits in COVID-19 patients at high risk for the disease. The antibody therapy isn’t intended for COVID-19 patients who are already hospitalized or require oxygen therapy.
“Our team of caregivers at Tidelands Health is proud to be among the first in the state to provide this promising treatment to high-risk COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Gerald Harmon, the health system’s vice president of medical affairs. “This gives us another tool as we continue to battle COVID-19 on multiple fronts and work continuously to help patients recover from this virus.”
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses. Bamlanivimab is a monoclonal antibody specifically designed to block the COVID-19 virus’ attachment and entry into human cells. In clinical trials involving patients at high risk for COVID-19 progression, hospitalizations and ER visits occurred in 3 percent of bamlanivimab-treated patients, on average, compared to 10 percent in placebo-treated patients, the FDA reports.
“This new treatment shows tremendous promise in helping high-risk patients with COVID-19 avoid hospitalization,” Dr. Harmon said. “Our team is aggressively fighting COVID-19 with every approved treatment available with the goal of helping our patients recover and have the best outcome.
“Bamlanivimab gives us another treatment option in our arsenal.”