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St. Luke’s opens second COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies infusion center

St. Luke’s University Health Network has opened a second outpatient COVID-19 treatment clinic.

This clinic is located at the St. Luke’s Warren Campus in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

St. Luke’s opened its first such clinic in Easton last week and has already treated more than 40 patients.

The new treatment program at the two centers offers patients bamlanivimab, an experimental drug developed by Eli Lilly that is similar to the drug given to President Donald Trump after he contracted the COVID-19 virus in October.

The drug was granted emergency authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It uses monoclonal antibodies that block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells.

Infusion has been found to be particularly effective in preventing the need for hospitalization in select, higher-risk patients including those who are 65 years of age or older and whose infection, identified early, does not yet require supplemental oxygen.

Patients seeking treatment with bamlanivimab may schedule an appointment after receiving a prescription from a St. Luke’s primary care physician or through a St. Luke’s CareNow walk-in center or emergency room.

The health network noted that supplies are dictated by the state and could be subject to limitations.

“St. Luke’s is pleased to be collaborating with Pennsylvania and New Jersey health departments to advance this important COVID-19 treatment,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, the Network’s senior vice president of medical and academic affairs. “This approach will help our hospitals avoid being overwhelmed during the current surge as certain high-risk patients who receive bamlanivimab recover in the comfort of their own homes.”

Writer Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at swescoe@bridgetowermedia.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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