Singapore — The experimental antibody treatment used by the doctors of United States President Donald Trump included plasma samples from the blood of three recovered Covid-19 patients in Singapore.
And while Mr Trump was discharged from hospital on Monday (Oct 5), a mere three days after it was reported that he had tested positive for Covid-19, it is by no means guaranteed that his battle with the disease is over.
The US President, as one of the most powerful leaders in the world, had access to the best possible treatments and medications for Covid-19, including an experimental antibody treatment that has shown success but has not yet received emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration.
The experimental treatment came from biotech firm Regeneron, which said that it had received a “compassionate use” request from Mr Trump’s doctors.
On Monday (Oct 5), Asian Scientist Magazine reported that one of the two antibodies in Regeneron’s treatment, REGN-COV2, given to the US President had been developed using blood samples from three patients in Singapore.
Studies have shown that plasma from patients who recovered from the infection could be used to treat or even prevent the disease. However, using this treatment on a large scale has been impossible because of the challenges in obtaining sufficient blood from volunteers.
What Regeneron has done is to clone Sars-CoV-2 binding antibodies from recovered patients as well as ones from “humanised” mice in order to “produce a reliable source of monoclonal antibodies”.
The US President was given the antibody treatment before his admission to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last Friday (Oct 2). While he was at Walter Reed, the antiviral drug, Remdesivir, was given to him in multiple doses, along with dexamethasone, a steroid used in treating inflammation in patients with grave cases of Covid-19.
On Monday (Oct 5), Mr Trump showed that he was in good spirits, tweeting: “I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”