Des Moines doctors use experimental COVID-19 treatment

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 7:51 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - Central Iowa doctors are starting to use a new experimental antibody medication to help treat COVID-19.

The treatment is not yet approved by the FDA, but MercyOne Des Moines doctors are among the first to use it following its emergency use authorization last month.

It’s called Bamlanivimad, or “bam,” infusion therapy.

It’s designed for people already infected with the virus. It targets and binds to the part of the virus that allows it to enter human cells, helping prevent the infection from getting stronger.

Early trials show the medication prevented 7 out of 100 COVID-19 patients from hospitalization.

“It appears to have a benefit,” Dr. Casey Rice, with MercyOne Des Moines, said. “It appears to be relatively safe, so we want to get it out and available soon because it might save lives.”

He says MercyOne received enough doses for 200 patients and 30 Iowans already received the infusion.

To qualify for “bam infusion” a patient must test positive for COVID-19, have mild to moderate symptoms, and be at high risk.

See the story on KCCI’s website,

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