Department of Health to Distribute New COVID-19 Therapy to Healthcare Systems Across the Commonwealth

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced Friday that the federal government will be distributing monoclonal antibodies to healthcare systems throughout the commonwealth. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins built in a laboratory that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens, like the COVID-19 virus.

“The department will determine which healthcare systems receive allocations based upon county case counts,” Dr. Levine said. “Then, the federal government will distribute the antibodies to the respective healthcare systems to further help communities struggling with the spread of COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies may provide short term protection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus for appropriate COVID-19 patients.”

The healthcare partners who receive the monoclonal antibodies will then ensure that patients who meet the criteria will be able to receive this treatment in a range of different distribution settings. Health care systems will determine eligibility for the antibodies based upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) guidelines.

The for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy, bamlanivimab, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients. Bamlanivimab is specifically directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, designed to block the virus’s attachment and entry into human cells. Bamlanivimab is not authorized for the patients who are hospitalized or require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19.