A woman in Wales said she was feeling “much better” after receiving the same experimental antibody treatment for the coronavirus that President Trump did during his recent bout with the illness, according to a report.
Melanie James, who lives in Cardiff, received a transfusion of monoclonal antibodies at the University Hospital Llandough as part of a clinical trial, the BBC reported.
Although she was breathless and receiving oxygen, James said she felt “much better” after receiving the latest treatment to be added to the Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy, or Recovery, clinical trial.
The trial seeks to determine the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies in preventing the virus from entering the cells of patients and keeping them from becoming more severely ill, according to the news outlet.
When the bug enters the body, antibodies attach to its spikes, blocking it from entering the cells. But people produce many types of antibodies, the most potent of which are called neutralizing antibodies.
So scientists “sieve” through them to find which are best at sticking to the spikes.
The chosen antibody is multiplied in the lab, produced in large quantities and given to patients to boost their immune response.
James said she was “never in any doubt” about taking part in the trial after her condition “deteriorated very quickly.”
Research team lead Zoe Hilton, research nurse Jennie Williams and pharmacist Manon RichardsCardiff and Vale University Heal
“I started to feel better the day after the transfusion, and only had a small amount of oxygen during that night,” James told the BBC. “Although I’m still recovering, I already feel much better than I did a week ago.”
She added: “I can’t speak highly enough of the treatment and care that I received from everybody involved, from clinical staff to the cleaners and those who offered me a drink.”
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has recruited more than 210 people for the trial, which recently found the steroid dexamethasone to be the first drug proven to improve survival for the disease.
Trump also received dexamethasone in addition to the Regeneron antibody cocktail.
“We are delighted that Melanie is feeling better, and wish her all the best with her ongoing recovery at home, however it is important to acknowledge that this arm of the trial remains in its very early stages and the widespread effectiveness of this treatment isn’t yet known,” said Zoe Hilton, the health board’s research team leader, the BBC reported.
Professor Martin Landray of the University of Oxford, who is leading the Recovery trial, has told the BBC that the antibody treatment offered to Trump was based on “established technology, used previously to develop similar sorts of drugs against Ebola.”