The FDA has approved the emergency use of an experimental antibody drug President Donald Trump was given when he had COVID-19 last month.
The one-time, IV-delivered drug is a combination of two concentrated antibodies that can help prevent the infection from worsening in patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms. Drugmaker Regeneron says it might also reduce virus-related hospitalizations in high-risk patients.
But the product is in short supply because it's made by living organisms at a biological pace that can't be sped up. Regeneron says it will have enough for 300,000 patients to get it through a federal government allocation program by January.
This is the second drug the FDA has authorized for emergency use this month. That permission allows drugs to be distributed even though their safety and effectiveness are still being studied. In public health crises, the FDA just has to determine if the experimental drug's potential *benefits outweigh the *risks.
The antibody drug approvals come as companies are racing to produce a vaccine by the end of the year. Pfizer applied for FDA authorization for its vaccine Friday.