Mayo Clinic says antibody treatments work against COVID

Two different therapeutic monoclonal antibodies bind at different antigenic sites of the coronavirus spike protein. They can confer synergistic protection against SARS-CoV-2.
Two different therapeutic monoclonal antibodies bind at different antigenic sites of the coronavirus spike protein. They can confer synergistic protection against SARS-CoV-2. Photo credit Getty Images

After receiving infusions of lab-made antibodies, some COVID-19 patients had a lower risk of hospitalization, according to a Mayo Clinic study released Monday.

The study was published in The Lancet's EClinicalMedicine journal.

Close to 1,400 Mayo Clinic patients were enrolled in the study, including 696 who received the treatment and an equal cohort who did not, said the Mayo Clinic. Observational research was conducted between December 2020 and early April, and patients were evaluated at 14, 21 and 28 days after treatment.

“At each point, the numbers for hospitalization were significantly lower in the treated group,” according to the clinic.

By the end of 28 days, 1.6 percent of those treated was hospitalized and 4.8 percent of those who had not been treated were hospitalized, around a 60 to 70 percent reduction in hospitalization for treated patients. ICU admission and mortality were low for those who received the antibodies.

“Our conclusion overall at this point is that monoclonal antibodies are an important option in treatment to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in high-risk patients,” says Dr. Raymund Razonable, a Mayo Clinic infectious disease specialist.

Monoclonal antibody treatments can help patients with mild to moderate symptoms who are at high risk of serious COVID-19 illness due to other health conditions, explained the Star Tribune. High risk patients include people age 65 and over as well as people with a high body mass index, chronic kidney disease or diabetes.

Mayo Clinic was the first health system in Minnesota last year to offer certain COVID-19 patients the antibody infusions, the Star Tribune added. Unlike vaccines, which aim to prevent are decrease the likelihood of infection, monoclonal antibodies are administered shortly after patients contract the virus. The treatment is designed to block virus from attaching to and entering human cells.

Late last year the treatment made headlines when then President Don