By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A UPMC doctor explained the experimental drug cocktail given to President Donald Trump as he undergoes treatment for the coronavirus.
The president’s physicians announced Friday that he received a single, 8-gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail. The mediation is still in clinical trials, but Dr. David Nace, chief medical officer of UPMC Senior Communities, says results are encouraging so far.
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“In this situation, when you’re dealing with the president of the United States and potentially very serious outcomes, it seemed like a reasonable choice,” he said.
The cocktail is meant to introduce more antibodies into the body directed at the virus, especially when the body’s own response to the virus might be diminished. In a press release earlier this week, Regeneron said recent data from the clinical trial showed the antibody cocktail “reduced viral load and the time to alleviate symptoms in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19.”
Watch as KDKA’s Chris Hoffman provides an update:
Nace added that while the medical field is still learning about the impact this type of treatment has on the coronavirus, it has been used for other conditions like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and certain types of cancers.
“I think the decision-making here is that we know the track record of this group of compounds, overall, is generally pretty good and we know that it looks promising for COVID,” Nace said.
President Trump obtained the drug through a compassionate use request, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration describes as a way for a patient with an immediately life-threatening condition or serious disease to get a treatment still in trials when no alternative therapies are available.
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“We had uncertainty as to what was happening in regards to the president’s condition,” Nace said. “We have a treatment that looks promising, and it seemed like a reasonable, reasonably safe option to try to do this.”
According to Regeneron, the antibody cocktail is also part of a larger program studying treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients and the prevention of infection for people who have been exposed to the virus.