New facility in NC to focus on promising COVID-19 treatment

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – StarMed is opening a facility in East Charlotte on North Wendover Road Monday solely dedicated to treating COVID-19 patients with REGEN-COV, which is a monoclonal antibody therapy.

Fox 46 spoke with a man who got the treatment, and he believes it helped him recover from the virus.

“It was a little scary. You’re trying to smell ammonia or bleach or something like that and you can’t really smell it,” he said.

Not only was it dangerous for Jay Corlette to lose his smell and taste because of COVID-19, but it could cut into his livelihood.

“I want to make sure I’m feeding the people what I want to feed them,” Corlette said.

The Marine Corps veteran makes a living off of cooking out of his food truck. He’s vaccinated, but COVID-19 dished out some unpleasant symptoms.

“That was the worst thing – the sinus pressure behind the eyes – and the headache behind the eyes,” Corlette said.

When Corlette tested positive for COVID-19, he decided to try monoclonal antibody treatment or REGEN-COV. He got two injections in the arms and two in the legs.

“It swelled up for a little while and then it went away,” he said. “It wasn’t pain-free, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t stand.”

StarMed is opening up a new facility Monday on North Wendover Road solely dedicated to treating COVID-19-positive patients, vaccinated and unvaccinated, with REGEN-COV.

“This is not, absolutely not a substitute for the vaccine. The vaccine creates different types of immunity, which involves B cells and T cells, not just the antibodies,” StarMed CEO Mike Estramonte said.

Emergency-use authorized REGEN-COV is free to patients. It injects COVID-19-positive patients and those who are exposed to the virus with laboratory-made antibody proteins.

The reason behind the therapy is to keep more patients out of the hospital.

“It’s sad, very emotional being that patient’s last person that they see, holding up the iPhones and the iPads and calling their loved ones,” Rachel Wiedmann said, a former Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse and current StarMed nurse.

Corlette said his pretty mild symptoms started to go away and his taste and smell came back approximately two days after getting monoclonal antibody treatment.

He’s almost ready to start cooking again.

StarMed will gradually increase their caseload at the North Wendover location, but eventually, they expect to treat 200 to 300 patients a day with REGEN-COV.

CBS 17 edited the copy of this story for its website.

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