An antibody was used as a treatment for the United States President Donald Trump when he was hospitalized for three days for testing positive for COVID-19. He received multiple treatments for respiratory disease; one was an experimental antibody drug produced by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Antibody: Promises COVID-19 Treatment, But Not Cure
Antibodies are not cures, and it is not probable that everyone will receive them as treatment as President Trump has suggested. However, experimental antibody drugs, including the one Trump was provided, are among the most promising therapies being tested as treatment and alleviating to contract the novel coronavirus.
Eli Lilly and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. are requesting the US government for permission for emergency use of their antibody drugs. Their drugs aim to help the immune system clear the coronavirus, reported The Business Standard.
Bill Gates on Antibodies
According to billionaire tech icon Bill Gates, it is improper to refer to the experimental COVID-19 monoclonal-antibody treatment that Trump received upon contracting the virus as a "cure."
"The word 'cure' is inappropriate because it won't work for everyone," remarked Gates in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, reported CNBC.
Hydroxychloroquine was reportedly a bust, and vaccines would only come after the presidential election.
Trump said, "They call them therapeutic, but to me, it wasn't therapeutic. He said that it was instead a "cure" in a video five days after receiving the experimental treatment from Regeneron.
The president continued that he would like the treatment offered to COVID-19 patients as soon as possible.
However, according to Leonard Schleifer, head of Regeneron, "The president's case is a case of one, and that's what we call a case report, and it is evidence of what's happening, but it's kind of the weakest evidence that you can get," reported Learning English.
The medicines remain in the testing phase, with their safety and effectiveness yet to be made clear.
Without enrolling in a study, the president is among fewer than ten people who were allowed access to Regeneron under "compassionate use" measures.
How Does an Antibody Work?
Antibodies are proteins the body produces when an infection occurs. They affix to a virus and help it be eradicated.
Gates then admitted he believes the treatment administered to Trump is possibly the "most promising" of all the experimental COVID-19 treatments underway. He noted that Regeneron's treatment is not yet available for the general public.
Preliminary and yet-to-be-published data from small studies propose that monoclonal antibodies indeed have much potential.
Trump was provided a kitchen sink of treatments. "No one ever got the drugs he got before, in the sequence he got them," stated Myron Cohen, an infectious-disease researcher at the University of North Carolina. The latter is studying monoclonal antibodies in clinical trials against COVID-19.
Vaccines and Antibodies
Vaccines make the body believe that it has an infection and produce antibodies to combat it. However, it could take numerous weeks following a vaccine or natural infection for the body producing the most potent antibodies.
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