Possible COVID-19 preventative is in clinical trials

Friday, October 2, 2020
A possible COVID-19 preventative is in clinical trials
The preventative Regeneron is described as a cocktail of laboratory made antibodies that work to fight off COVID-19.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- One of the biggest ways COVID-19 is spreading is through our own households, from one family member to another.

Now, a treatment is hoping to prevent the virus from spreading from an infected person to their loved one. Clinical trials are underway for a treatment called Regeneron.

"We know that there's some people that have big families or they live with someone. That person gets tested positive, and again there are no prevention tools for that, so that is the gap that this study is also trying to address," said Dr. Jonatan Gioia, a research associate at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

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Regeneron is described as a cocktail of laboratory made antibodies that work to fight off COVID-19.

"We have this amazing opportunity to build what our body would produce when it's faced with COVID-19," Gioia said.

The study will have 2,000 participants nationwide, including Houston at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital.

In order to be a candidate, researchers are looking for asymptomatic people who have had at least 48 hours of sustained exposure to someone who is COVID-19 positive.

In addition, the participant must live in the same household with a COVID-19 positive patient for 29 days during the study.

"We won't be able to see how protective those antibodies are. They need to be in the same household for the next 29 days," said Gioia.

UTHealth is really encouraging people from all backgrounds to participate in what could be a treatment to prevent a deadly disease.

"Start to engage the underrepresented communities who are the most impacted by this pandemic. Specifically, Black and brown communities because for us, representation matters and it's important in clinical trials," Gioia said.

If you'd like to participate in the trial, you can call 409-234-1398.

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