Monoclonal Antibodies: A COVID’-19 Nemesis?

Joseph R. Anticaglia MD
Medical Advisory Board

When President Donald J. Trump contracted COVID-19 in October of 2020, he was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with a cornucopia of drugs to combat his sickness. They included, as far as we know, Remdesivir, dexamethasone, a monoclonal antibody cocktail plus other medications and supplements to fight off the infection.

The President was surrounded by an Army of infectious disease experts and consultants. They were granted authorization by the FDA for the “compassionate” use of an experimental, laboratory produced, synthetic drug. The medication he received is a version of antibodies that occur naturally in the body which attack COVID-19 called monoclonal antibodies.

We need human ingenuity and common sense to corral this dangerous virus. COVID-19, also known as SARS-CoV2, has ravaged the earth with over 1.1 million deaths thus far. Approximately one fifth of the deaths have occurred in the United States.


Antibodies are “Y shaped” blood proteins made by our bodies to protect us from foreign invaders, such as, bacteria, viruses and cancers. Antibodies seem to be single minded.

They often go after specific antigens, which are foreign materials that invade the body, such as viruses.

This unwanted invasion sets in motion the production of antibodies and other aspects of the defense team with a specific target in mind. If you’re healthy, ordinarily your body’s immune response is up to the challenge to neutralize or destroy unwanted germs — antigens.

If a cluster of harmful viruses invade the body, special antibodies will recognize, target and attack those specific viruses. As noted in an earlier post, “B cell antibodies recognize the “face” of the enemy, locate the invader and relay the information to the immune system’s emergency response team. It keeps (mug shots), an up to date dossier on tens of millions of previous invaders. Its radar is constantly scanning the body for unwelcomed intruders.” The antibodies protect the body in several ways:

  • Antibodies can attach themselves to toxins and neutralize their poisons.
  • They can link themselves to the receptors of cell walls of bacteria preventing the cells from getting nutrition — In other words, starve them to death.
  • Antibodies can hang onto viruses forming an antibody-antigen complex setting in motion the destruction of the viruses.
  • They can bind themselves to microorganisms making the ‘culprits’ easier to be recognized and more susceptible to destruction.
  • If antibodies are combined with their corresponding antigens, they can form clumps of substances which slow down the activity of the foreign invaders.

Monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs) are laboratory manufactured antibodies made, for instance, from recovered COVID-19 patients. They have a specific target in mind, namely, COVID-19, and the antibody-antigen combination fit together on the surface of cells. These antibodies, mAbs, are given intravenously, i. e., injected into the vein.

Credit: Anna Tanczos, Wellcome Images. “The blue and green Y-shaped forms represent monoclonal antibodies in the process of binding to receptors found on the surface of cells.”

President Trump probably received a single, big-time infusion of the synthetic mAb cocktail into his veins. Most likely, it consisted of two monoclonal antibodies when he was in the early stages of the disease. The cocktail’s role is to target, neutralize and destroy the ‘COVID-19’ virus. This treatment reduces the viral load (the number of viruses in the body), lessons associated symptoms, and optimistically, leads to a speedy recover.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced in September of this year that the experimental REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail, the one given to the President, reduced viral levels and improved symptoms in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The greatest benefit was in patients who could not mount an effective immune response; that is to say, in those patients who did not generate enough antibodies to fight the coronavirus.

There are many kinds of monoclonal antibodies and the number of mAbs have increase rapidly since 1985. Roughly 100 monoclonal antibodies have been designated as drugs which have been used to treat a variety of conditions. They’ve been used to treat breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, transplant rejection, viral infections and other conditions.

Side Effects of mAb

Possible side effects of mAb include Flu-like signs and symptoms for instance, fever, chills, weakness, muscle aches and pains. Patients have also complained of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea skin rashes and blood pressure abnormalities.

Monoclonal antibodies can block receptor sites, identify harmful cells for destruction and deliver toxic materials that kill enemy cells. They neutralize and destroy dangerous germs causing a reduction in a person’s viral load and relief of symptoms.

Monoclonal antiviral activity may prove to be a therapeutic, COVID-19 nemesis while the country waits for a safe and effective vaccine. It will most likely become available to the general population in 2021. Waiting will be frightful as we enter the dark days of the “double whammy,” the combination of the flu coupled with soaring Covid-19 cases.


  1. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Regeneron’s REGN-COV2 Antibody Cocktail Reduced Viral Levels and Improved Symptoms in Non-Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients. September 29, 2020
  2. Joseph R. Anticaglia, MD; A Snapshot of the Immune System Our Bodies’ Department of Defense; Doctor’s Column, HC Smart, 2017
  3. Joseph R. Anticaglia, MD; Could the Upcoming Flu Season be a “Double Whammy?” The “Twindemic” of COVID-19 and Influenza? Doctor’s Column, 202
  4. Wolter Kluver; Overview of Therapeutic monoclonal Antibodies; Up To Date, May 8, 2020
    What is Biotechnology? Monoclonal Antibodies;
    American Cancer Society; Monoclonal Antibodies and Their Side Effects; December 27, 2019


The United States surpassed nine million total cases of COVID-19 on October 30, 2020, accounting for more than 230,000 deaths! Many experts estimate that the worse is yet to come predicting 100,000 new cases per day!

No amount of double talk can fool the discerning American public. The management of the 2020 COVID CRISIS has been a monumental federal and public health disaster. The “Double Whammy” is not around the corner — it’s upon us. The callous ineptitude of many in leadership positions accounts for the needless loss of thousands of American lives. We deserve better from our representatives.

This article is intended solely as a learning experience. Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options.