New COVID-19 Treatments at McLaren Northern Michigan

Infusion Therapy for COVID-19 Outpatients

It is hard to imagine less than a year ago COVID-19 had not reached the United States and was just being discovered. Northern Michigan saw its first COVID-19 case in March and since then, medical therapies for hospitalized COVID-19 patients and the first preventative vaccine have been released.   

McLaren Northern Michigan has been on the frontline of this pandemic using the latest therapies to treat our hospitalized COVID-19 patients. And now, McLaren Northern Michigan is the first in the region to offer COVID-19 treatments to outpatients using two new antibody infusions, Bamlanivimab and casirivimab + imdevimab. Both infusion therapies are synthesized from naturally occurring antibodies found in patients recovering from COVID-19. The antibodies are not directly taken from human plasma, improving safety and expanding options for those who decline human blood product.

Early research has shown antibody treatments could reduce the chances of hospitalization in high-risk populations by up to 70 percent. Jon Sangeorzen, MD, Infectious Diseases physician at McLaren Northern Michigan, has been following the development of new therapeutics for COVID-19 and was instrumental in bringing these therapies to Northern Michigan. “The release of these therapies under Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA means the products have not yet had the usual long-term experience that most therapeutics receive before approval,” stated Dr. Sangeorzan. “Both therapies show enough promise to begin using them to help people in our current pandemic. Our hope is that this treatment will shorten the course of illness, decrease need for hospitalization, and save lives.”

Not everyone is eligible for this treatment. It is only approved for use in patients who are at high risk for serious complications because of their age or other conditions such as diabetes, heart or kidney disease, and obesity. It must also be used within the first days of illness, before more severe symptoms occur.  The treatment decreases the amount of virus in the patient more quickly. While the treatments decrease the amount of virus in the patient more quickly, any treatment can have potential side effects.  Those who qualify for treatment will receive full information published by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

McLaren Northern Michigan is partnering with Dr. Gustav Lo of Northern Michigan MedCenters in Petoskey (formerly Quick Care and Urgent Care) to provide a setting for administration of the one-time intravenous infusion. Patients can be referred by their own physician following a positive test, or they may come directly to one of the Northern Michigan Medical Center clinics for evaluation of new symptoms, COVID testing, and evaluation of eligibility for this treatment. 

For more information regarding the bamlanivimab and casirivimab + imdevimab treatment, and if you are a candidate, talk to your primary care provider. Don’t have a primary care provider? Visit for a list of providers near you. To reach Northern Michigan MedCenters, call 231-487-2000.