Treatment offered at Sarasota Memorial Hospital shows promising results in COVID-19 cases

Regeneron monoclonal antibody ‘cocktail’ found to reduce risk of hospitalization and death by 70% in high-risk patients

Image from

A monoclonal antibody “cocktail” developed by Regeneron cut the risk of hospitalization and death by 70% when given to high-risk COVID-19 patients in a large clinical trial, the drug maker announced in late March.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) was among 27 sites participating in the trial, “which produced the most definitive evidence yet that the medicine can aid recovery early in the course of disease,” the hospital announced in a news release. “The new results came from a Phase 3 trial that enrolled more than 4,500 patients last fall, around the time virus cases began to surge dangerously in the United States,” the release adds. “Phase 3 trials study different populations and different dosages,” and they offer the drug in combination with other medications, to confirm its efficacy, the release explains. The study found that patients who received the infused treatment within 10 days of developing symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19 had a roughly 70% reduced risk of being hospitalized or dying, compared with patients who were infused with a placebo, and the treatment reduced the median recovery time from 14 days to 10, the release points out.

“From August 2020 to January 2021, SMH did a lot of this groundbreaking research and many of our selfless, heroic patients participated as volunteers,” said Dr. Manuel Gordillo, medical director of Infection Prevention & Control at SMH, in the release. “The results are very encouraging and a potential game changer,” he added in the release.

Regeneron’s cocktail of two antibody drugs is the same treatment given to President Donald Trump shortly after he became sick with COVID-19 last fall, the release notes. It is “among a handful of therapies authorized” for COVID-19 patients, to prevent severe disease and hospitalization, the release says. “The drugs are given to patients early in the disease, when the virus is thought to be most susceptible to treatment.”

“Sarasota Memorial is among a number of hospitals allocated the novel monoclonal antibody therapies for non-hospitalized patients who have been diagnosed with a mild-to-moderate case of COVID-19 within the past 10 days,” and who have a high risk for severe disease or hospitalization, the release notes.

People over age 65 are eligible, as well as others 18 and older with certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk for complications, the release explains. “A physician referral is needed to determine eligibility for the outpatient therapy.”

To initiate the screening process, physicians may call the SMH monoclonal antibody infusion referral line at 941-262-0135 (from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday), the release adds.

Physicians may leave a voicemail after hours with physician name, patient name, patient date of birth, date of positive test and best contact information for the patient, the release says. “Medicare and most health plans cover the treatment for eligible plan members,” the release points out. People who are uninsured and/or who have low incomes are eligible for free and discounted care, it adds.