The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Saturday night approved an Emergency Use Authorization for an antibody treatment President Donald Trump received shortly after being diagnosed with the Wuhan coronavirus. The manufacturer, Regeneron, received the green light for its cocktail of two antibodies – or casirivimab and imdevimab – that appear to be effective for those with mild to moderate coronavirus.
The two antibodies, referred to as monoclonal antibodies, are created in a lab and mimic the human body's natural immune system. When administered, the cocktail prevents the virus from attaching to human cells.
In order to receive the treatment, a patient must be 12 years or older, weigh at least 88 pounds and be at high-risk for progressing to a severe stage of the virus. A patient cannot be hospitalized or require oxygen because of the Wuhan coronavirus.
According to the FDA, taking the antibody cocktail has shown to reduce the number of hospitalizations and emergency room visits in those who are high risk for the disease.
Regeneron will have enough doses of the cocktail for 80,000 patients by the end of November. That number will increase to 200,000 patients by the first week of January and 300,000 by the end of January, The New York Times reported.
Eli Lilly developed a similar drug and was approved for the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization earlier in the month.
The Trump administration's effort to speed up treatments and vaccines for the virus, known as Operation Warp Speed, has rolled back red tape so Americans can get the treatment they need in a timely manner.
As of now, the government has bought 300,000 doses from Eli Lilly and Regeneron, The Washington Post reported. Each dose costs between $1,250 and $1,500. How many doses each state receives will be determined based on its infection rates.