In a healthy immune system, antibodies are produced by white blood cells in response to a foreign invader. Antibodies fight off infection by attaching to foreign proteins called antigens to destroy or neutralize them. For example, when you are exposed to a virus, your body produces antibodies to help rid your system of the infection.
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced antibodies designed to locate and bind to certain molecules, rendering them neutral in a similar way.
First developed in the 1970s, dozens of monoclonal antibody therapies are available today. They fall into three main categories:
Currently, there are three monoclonal antibody treatments available in the United States to treat COVID-19 with Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.