HOUSTON — With high-profile patients including former President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, we’re talking a lot about Regeneron and its monoclonal antibody treatment. What is it? How does it work? And who can get it?
Let’s start with the big one: what monoclonal antibody treatment? It’s a combination of two antibodies, which are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system's ability to fight off harmful pathogens, such as viruses. That concoction is then administered to patients through an IV, a process that takes about 20 minutes.
Regeneron came up with the technology and studies show it decreases the chances of hospitalization by 70 to 80 percent.
Not just anyone can get it, though. The FDA granted emergency use authorization for the treatment back in November, but it can only be used for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms or for those who are high-risk, such as people older than 65 or those who have a chronic medical condition.
If you’re in one of those categories and want to access one of the state-run regional infusion centers, you’ll have to get a referral from your primary care physician. If you don’t have a doctor and want to schedule an appointment -- you can call the 24-hour State Infusion Hotline at 1-800-742-5990.
Also, some hospitals and urgent cares can connect you with a doctor to get a prescription when you sign up for an appointment.