About 90 people receiving antibody therapy for COVID-19 per day at Freeman Coliseum

Doctor says people are having positive response to drug

SAN ANTONIO – COVID-19 patients in San Antonio are being treated daily at the Freeman Coliseum with antibody therapy.

“Most patients have an immediate positive response to the drug,” said Elliott Mandell, senior vice president and chief pharmacy officer for University Health.

Patients at the facility are receiving monoclonal antibody therapy called Bamlanivimab.

“They are synthetic antibodies that are administered intravenously into your body that help fight off the virus in conjunction with your own antibodies,” Mandell said.

In November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use for monoclonal antibodies were. Eli Lilly and Regeneron developed the two monoclonal antibody therapies.

University Hospital pharmacy is preparing the drugs that may keep COVID-19 patients out of the hospital.

“There’s a small allocation that goes out to the hospitals in the San Antonio area. They all send them to us here at University Health, and we actually mix those products into a solution for IV administration, and those are done at the Freeman Coliseum,” Mandell said.

Nonprofit BCFS Health and Human Services’ emergency management division is running the operation at the Freeman Coliseum. A spokesperson said they are treating about 90 people a day.

“The patients have to be tested COVID positive. They have to be symptomatic patients,” Mandell said.

U.S. Air Force Veteran Edward Reyes received the treatment on Jan. 11. He said it helped his condition.

“I feel much, much better than I did going in there,” Reyes said.

People who test positive and are high risk are eligible for the treatment.

Patients are referred from area physicians, clinics, urgent care centers and emergency departments.

BCFS Health and Human Services’ emergency management division urges people to discuss treatment options with their health care providers.

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