A panel of international experts representing the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended high-risk COVID-19 patients receive Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment to reduce their risk of severe disease.
Regeneron's treatment - which the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) authorized in the U.S. in November - includes two antibodies, called casirivimab and imdevimab, that can boost patients' immune systems.
WHO recommends this treatment for two groups of patients: those who don't have severe Covid but are at high risk of hospitalization, and those who have severe Covid and fail to test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
Still, the WHO panel acknowledges this treatment may be difficult to administer in low- and middle-income countries, due to its cost and equipment requirements.
It is even difficult to access in some U.S. states, due to new federal distribution protocols after just seven states comprised 70 percent of treatment orders.
The WHO has recommended Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment, which boosts Covid patients' immune systems. Pictured: A box and vial of Regeneron's treatment at a treatment site in Orlando, Florida, August 2021
High-risk patients include those who don't have severe Covid but are at high risk of hospitalization, and those who have severe Covid and fail to test positive for coronavirus antibodies
Monoclonal antibody treatments have been a popular strategy for treating Covid patients in the U.S., especially during the country's recent surge.
In this treatment, a patient receives an infusion of synthetically-made antibodies - immune system proteins - that are designed specifically to fight the coronavirus.
If a patient is given this infusion soon after they become infected with the coronavirus, those synthetic antibodies can boost their immune system and ward off severe disease.
Data from the U.S. show that the treatment can help keep patients out of the hospital or, if they are hospitalized, it can help keep them out of intensive care units.
Former President Trump was treated with monoclonal antibodies when he contracted Covid in October 2020.
The FDA gave a monoclonal antibody treatment made by the drug company Regeneron in Emergency Use Authorization in November.
Now, a panel of experts representing the WHO