COVID antibody treatments on track for FDA authorization, but are they a cure?

Even if ultimately approved and proven effective, there won’t be enough of the medications for everyone who needs them.

By Erika Edwards, NBC News

In the past 24 hours, two drugmakers have asked the Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency use authorizations for their experimental antibody therapies for Covid-19.

Currently, patients must be in clinical trials for the chance to get those potentially beneficial drugs. An EUA would broaden availability to patients who are not enrolled in such studies — as was the case with President Donald Trump.

The announcements from drug manufacturers Regeneron and Eli Lilly came within hours of Trump making public pleas to drum up support and enthusiasm for the medicines — referring to the antibodies as a “cure,” despite a lack of evidence backing up such a claim.

The president, who received Regeneron’s antibody therapy last week as part of his overall treatment for Covid-19, touted the drug (as well as Eli Lilly’s similar therapy) in video messages posted on Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday.

In one video addressed to senior citizens, Trump suggested that he “could have walked out” of the hospital the day after getting the drug.

Monoclonal antibodies are lab-manufactured antibodies, meant to mimic the body’s immune response and help prevent the virus from replicating. Read more …