Michigan to Expand Access to Promising COVID Treatment to Fight New Surge
Michigan is working to expand a promising antibody treatment for COVID-19 as hospitalizations and positive test results continue to skyrocket in the “Great Lake State.”
“We are using every mitigation strategy, every medication, and every treatment option to fight the virus here in Michigan,” Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.
“These antibody treatments could keep you out of the hospital and save your life, and my administration and I will continue working with the federal government to make sure we are using all the tools in our toolbox to keep you and your family safe and get back to normal sooner.”
Monoclonal antibody therapies, developed by Regeneron and Eli Lilly, have been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
During treatment, the monoclonal antibodies — laboratory-made proteins — mimic how the immune system naturally attacks the virus.
Early research by Regeneron found that the treatment reduced COVID-19 hospitalizations by 57 percent, the Washington Examiner reported.
Eli Lilly’s study found that only 1.6 percent of patients who received the treatment were hospitalized compared to the 6.3 percent who were given the placebo.
“When administered to non-hospitalized patients within 10 days of symptom onset, monoclonal antibodies may reduce symptoms and the risk of hospitalizations and emergency room visits associated with the virus,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, said in the statement.
“This therapy can help save the lives of more Michigan residents as we work to vaccinate 70% of Michiganders age 16 and older with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible.”
Former President Donald Trump touted the Regeneron treatment as a cure for COVID-19 after he was hospitalized with the virus last fall.
“I went in. I wasn’t feeling so hot, and within a very short period of time, they gave me Regeneron … and other things too, but I think this was the key,” he said in October.
“And it was like unbelievable. I felt good immediately. I felt as good three days ago as I do now.”
Regeneron was still in clinical trials when the president requested the drug, The New York Times reported.
“They call them therapeutic, but to me it wasn’t therapeutic. It just made me better. OK? I call that a cure,” Trump said.
Michigan recently became a COVID-19 hotspot and recorded an average of over 7,000 new cases per day, according to The New York Times.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed Michigan as hosting the highest number of COVID cases in the nation, with about 50,983 new cases reported in the last week alone.
“Regeneron’s treatment very likely helped to save the former president’s life. It could save yours too,” Whitmer said, according to the Washington Examiner.
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