Memorial Hospital Pembroke provides antibody drug for early treatment of COVID-19

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – Memorial Hospital Pembroke recently announced they are administering antibody treatments to COVID-19 patients in the earliest stages.

The outpatient treatments are IV injections of monoclonal antibodies that help to block the coronavirus from attacking cells. David Starnes, the hospital’s chief nursing officer, said the therapy aims to prevent severe disease.

“It targets the spikes on the coronavirus and allows it to not attach to the body, to any of our cells, therefore allowing you to create some immunity,” Starnes said.

The hospital’s isolated outpatient treatment area at 7800 Sheridan St. is only providing 12 infusions per day. COVID-19 patients need a doctor’s recommendation and an appointment.

Memorial says people should contact their primary care physician to determine if they are a candidate for this treatment. Primary care physician offices will fax referrals to Memorial Healthcare System directly to get an appointment for their patients.

Mount Sinai Medical Center is also offering that therapy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an emergency use authorization for the treatments by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., which doctors used to treat President Donald Trump in October, and for Eli Lilly & Co.

Memorial Hospital Pembroke now provides COVID-19 antibody drug

Starnes said the FDA allows the therapies to be administered within 10 days of the patients’ first symptoms.

The federal government agreed to distribute $375 million in vials from Eli Lilly’s Bamlanivimab and $450 million in vials from Regeneron of Casirivimab or Imdevimab to states around the country. Memorial Hospital reported having access to both.

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Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.