Researchers use manufactured antibodies to treat patients with COVID-19

Updated: May. 1, 2020 at 9:27 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Some researchers are using manmade antibodies to treat COVID-19 patients. A recovering nurse noticed an improvement to her symptoms shortly after receiving treatment.

Amanda Young says she tested positive for COVID-19 on April 12.

"It just started with like a headache, a dry cough, and like mild fever," Young said.

she said her symptoms got worse.

"The next morning I was coughing, I lost my voice, the fever was there. I called my ENT, and he put me on the Plaquenil and the Z-Pak, which was like the big thing that everybody was doing in the beginning," Young said.

Young says she went to the emergency room at East Jefferson Hospital.

"They put me on oxygen, sent me to my room. Then all of the doctors of course are like we're going to type and screen you because we really want you to maybe get these antibodies cause where you're at right now, you're not looking good," Young said.

She says that's when doctors suggested the use of monoclonal antibodies to treat her body's response to the virus.

"In the case of this virus, your body's response sort of runs amok. It's sort of like guys in a foxhole who are just shooting everywhere. Shooting some of their comrades and not just shooting the enemy," MedPharmics Medical Director, Dr. Robert Jeanfreau said.

Instead of attacking the virus, the monoclonal antibodies calm down the body's inflammatory response.

"They're actually directed against certain parts of the immune system that contribute to this overactive response to the virus' invasion," Jeanfreau said.

Young said she started feeling better the next day.

"I still had fever, and I would still get short of breath if I went to the bathroom or not, and doing certain little things, but it was just different. I felt a little better," Young said.

Two days later, she felt a significant improvement.

"It was like night and day. That's when I had mild fever in the morning I think, but it wasn't as high, it might've been 101 maybe, but they said I didn't look flushed in the face, I had color," Young said.

Unlike antibodies from the convalescent plasma, doctors say the monoclonal antibodies are manufactured in labs.

"This drug is like a miracle for me, I guess just of how I felt. I really didn't think I was going to do well," Young said.

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