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Mesa lab testing COVID-19 antibody treatment

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Posted at 3:59 PM, Jul 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-05 01:42:43-04

MESA, AZ — As doctors, scientists and medical health professionals scurry to find a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, one Valley duo says they are working to help those suffering from COVID-19 at home.

FULL SECTION: Everything you need to know about coronavirus

The "Monoclonal Antibody" study, funded in part by the Department of Health and Human Services and the pharmaceutical company REGENERON, is focusing on Arizonans.

According to Nurse Practitioner Ann Moore and Dr. Anita Kohli, this is the first clinical trial that focuses on COVID-19 patients who are not currently hospitalized.

"We feel this is important; this could be a game changer, but we don't know and we won't know until we know," said NP Moore with AZ Clinical Trials in Mesa.

She joined efforts with Dr. Kohli, the Director of Clinical Research at the clinic and a board-certified infectious disease physician who has trained with Dr. Anthony Fauci at the NIH.

"With this (trial) you are getting a high dosage of COVID specific antibodies given to you and what these antibodies do is they target what we call the S protein of the virus," says Dr. Kohli.

In a matter of 10 days, the two opened up the clinic specifically for COVID-19 positive patients. This week, the clinic started seeing their first five patients.

The trial focuses on the "monoclonal antibody" which attaches itself to the virus before the virus can start penetrating body cells.

"It's a single infusion what we are giving the patients, and then we monitor their symptoms for 30 days," adds Dr. Kohli.

Backed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the trial is being spear-headed by the pharmaceutical company REGENERON.

Compared to the convalescent plasma immune therapy, this therapeutic procedure may be much more successful since the infusion given is purely COVID-19 antibodies.

The two say those who are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms at home such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath and have a positive result are the ideal candidates.

"We see this inflammatory component of COVID which creates a lot of the lung problems such as pneumonia and shortness of breath, so this monoclonal antibody will reduce and hopefully prevent hospitalization in those patients who are early in infection," adds NP Moore.

"The idea is to treat them before they have to go to the hospital," adds Dr. Kohli.

AZ Clinical Trials will gather data and send it back to REGENERON and the U.S. Department of Health for further evaluation.

NP Moore says if the monoclonal antibody proves to be successful, there is a possibility the trial will be expedited for further success in new COVID-19 patients.

"We are very lucky, very lucky to have this in Phoenix, very lucky," adds Dr. Kohli.

To be part of the clinical trial you can visit www.azclinicaltrials.com.