CHANDLER, AZ — In July, ABC15 first brought you the story of the monoclonal antibody clinical trial by the company Regeneron. The purpose of the antibody is to reduce symptoms and keep COVID-19 patients out of the hospital.
"Patients who received the drug were less likely to need care from their primary care doctors, or urgent centers or ERs," says Anita Kohli, Director for AZ Clinical Trials.
Since then...here in Arizona 120 COVID-19 positive patients have had access to the same remedy given to President Trump.
"President Trump received Regeneron medication through a compassionate use program," added Kohli.
Dr. Anita Kohli is the director of AZ Clinical Trials and is handling Regeneron's experimental drug here in Arizona....she says last week Regeneron posted preliminary results for 275 patients... one of those was Jennifer Bernt.
"Both my husband and I got the infusion because we both had COVID-19. We got it on the same day. We were both feeling better within a couple of days as far as fatigue and headache," said Bernt.
The monoclonal antibody is engineered in a lab specifically for the COVID-19 virus. The drug is not approved by the FDA at this point, but Dr. Kohli says data collected so far is proving the drug is effective. One way to know is through what's called viral shedding.
"We test in the beginning and then in series to see how much virus is there and what you can see is those numbers are declining in people receiving the medicine," adds Dr. Kohli.
The monoclonal antibody is called a cocktail because of the way it attacks the virus.
"So what it means is that they've generated more than one antibody to the coronavirus."
Jennifer Bernt says as a patient she wasn't told whether her antibody infusion was a placebo or not, but either way, she's glad to be paving the way to a solution to COVID-19.
"I did 14 nasal swabs for this trial so I'm hoping the data was useful for someone. We are not done obviously, coronavirus is this new novel virus, so there's always something to learn and I'm sure it's not the last thing we are going to see even in our lifetime."
If you would like more information about the monoclonal antibody clinical trial you can reach them at www.azclinicaltrials.com