COVID-19 Antibodies and Vaccine Provide Hope for Patients with Kidney Failure

COVID-19 Antibodies and Vaccine Provide Hope for Patients with Kidney Failure

Fresenius Kidney Care has started to administer the new antibody treatment, bamlanivimab, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to permit its use for mild to moderate disease in patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19. The FDA specifically indicated the use of these antibody therapies for people with chronic kidney disease.

“These new antibody therapies are an important tool to effectively treat confirmed cases of COVID-19 in dialysis patients,” said Jeffrey L. Hymes, MD, EVP, Global Head of Clinical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer for Fresenius Kidney Care. “We have been preparing for the rollout of these therapies in our dialysis centers, and our clinical services team is actively providing education and training to support these efforts.”

These antibodies are designed to mimic the immune system’s antibody response to neutralize the SARS-COV-2 virus. When given within ten days, these antibody therapies have been shown to reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or emergency department visits. With bamlanivimab now in phase II of the distribution process from the U.S. Health and Human Services, it is currently available to outpatient clinics and dialysis centers.

In addition to these antibody therapies, COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out on a state-by-state basis, providing hope for patients with chronic kidney failure. In Louisiana, Fresenius Kidney Care recently received an allocation of nearly 5000 Moderna vaccine doses for employees and patients thanks to the Louisiana Department of Health. 

"As a frontline worker here at Fresenius Kidney Care, I am just ecstatic about receiving the vaccine and I'm also proud of Fresenius for leading the way and making it possible for all of our patients and staff to get the vaccine," said Fresenius Kidney Care Clinic Manager Laverne Scott to WBRZ news. “I’m getting the COVID vaccine not only for myself and my family, but also to educate others.”

With both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech distributing their COVID-19 vaccines across the country to battle the ongoing pandemic, the science and process behind these groundbreaking EUAs by the FDA is discussed in the latest episode of the Field Notes podcast by Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA). The company’s Medical Office experts believe the vaccines will play a critical role in ending the global pandemic.

“We have been closely monitoring the progress of each COVID-19 vaccine. People can trust that any vaccine authorized for emergency use by the FDA is safe and effective,” Phaneth Keo, Pharm.D., Vice President of Medical Strategies for Innovative Therapies at FMCNA’s Renal Therapies Group explained in the podcast. “What's important for everyone to know is there are no steps that have been eliminated or bypassed that are typical of a traditional vaccine development as well as a review process. These vaccines go through the same development process as any traditional vaccine.”