A new monoclonal antibody treatment designed to keep people diagnosed with COVID-19 out of the hospital is beginning to be distributed in Illinois, health officials said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization on February 11 for a new monoclonal antibody called bebtelovimab.
Bebtelovimab will join another monoclonal antibody treatment, sotrovimab, two oral antivirals, Paxlovid and molnupiravir, and a preventive drug, Evusheld, in the list of COVID-19 treatments available across Illinois.
“This newest COVID-19 treatment authorized by the FDA will continue to move us forward as we co-exist with COVID-19,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
“While vaccination and boosting are still the best protection against severe illness due to COVID-19, this new treatment, along with other previously authorized treatments, can help keep people out of the hospital,” Ezike said.
Bebtelovimab is authorized to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and certain pediatric patients who are at high risk for severe COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said.
Bebtelovimab is administered as an intravenous injection, IDPH said.
IDPH also said that equitable distribution is a “priority for IDPH and has been throughout the pandemic – from testing, to vaccinations, to treatments.”
Those who test positive for COVID-19 are recommended to talk to their health care provider immediately to see if they are eligible for one of the treatments.