East Texas hospital participates in international COVID-19 clinical trial

The coronavirus vaccine is still primarily available for first line workers and those 70 and...
The coronavirus vaccine is still primarily available for first line workers and those 70 and older.(cdc)
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 7:55 AM CST
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LONGVIEW, Tx. (KSLA) - CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center is just one of 50 health systems from around the world taking part in a “crucial” COVID-19 treatment trial.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is leading the clinical trial.

The mission of the trial is to test the “safety, tolerability, and efficacy of a combination treatment regimen for COVID-19,” according to a news release. “The regimen consists of the antiviral drug remdesivir, and a highly concentrated solution of antibodies that has been shown in laboratory studies to neutralize the virus that causes COVID-19.”

The antibody treatment used in this trial is anti-coronavirus hyperimmune intravenous immunoglobulin (hIVIG).

“These antibodies are highly purified and concentrated, containing several times more neutralizing antibodies” than what’s is typically found in the plasma of a recovered COVID-19 patient.

“Should the results come out positive, and the initial data suggests so, the FDA may approve, at least on an EUA basis (emergency use authorization), and bring additional treatment options for doctors to treat their patients who are struggling to fight and combat COVID-19,” said Pukar Ratti, CHRISTUS system director for research and academics. “We are giving bodies who are fighting COVID-19 an artificial way of having these antibodies in them, so they can fight off this disease.”

According to the NIH, this trial consists of 500 hospitalized adults who’ve had COVID-19 symptoms for 12 days or less and “do not have life-threatening organ dysfunction or organ failure. Study participants are being randomly assigned to receive either back-to-back infusions of either investigational hIVIG and remdesivir, or a placebo and remdesivir. Neither the trial participant nor study team will know who is receiving which treatment regiment until the end of the trial.”

“We are hoping by June 30 of this year all 500 patients will be enrolled and we will have collected that data,” said Ratti. “Those results would then be published and presented back to the FDA for timely approval.”

“We are very proud that CHRISTUS Good Shepherd is taking a leading role in what is truly an international effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Todd Hancock, chief executive officer of CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System.

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