Infections

FDA Authorizes Fourth Monoclonal Antibody Drug

Last Friday, the FDA authorized emergency use of Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody treatment, bebtelovimab, for treating mild-to-moderate COVID-19. Bebtelovimab has been shown to be highly effective against the Omicron variant, and is the fourth treatment made available for high-risk COVID patients. It has not been proven whether bebtelovimab can prevent severe disease, but trial data suggest that bebtelovimab may reduce viral replication when taken within 7 days upon onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

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Autoimmunity & COVID: Are You More at Risk?

Researchers in Italy studied whether autoimmunity increased the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients not taking immunosuppressive drugs. Researchers contacted 400 patients with the following autoimmune diseases: autoimmune gastritis, celiac disease, autoimmune thyroid disease (both Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), and Type 1 diabetes. Positive COVID-19 test results were reported in 33 patients. Only 3 of the 33 patients required hospitalization, while 8 were asymptomatic, and 22 had mild symptoms. No deaths were recorded.

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FDA Expands Authorization Around Remdesivir to Treat COVID-19

On January 21, the FDA expanded the use of remdesivir to non-hospitalized adults and children who have mild-to-moderate COVID-19, who are at risk of severe disease. Previously, remdesivir was only available to hospitalized patients. This decision was based on a clinical trial including 562 participants with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, who had displayed symptoms within the previous 7 days and had at least one risk factor for severe disease.

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