KUMC to participate in COVID-19 clinical trial for outpatient treatment

A new trial will test antibodies on volunteer outpatients who have COVID-19, according to officials.

Dr. Mario Castro, vice chair for clinical and translational research at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said participants in the trial would receive a one-time treatment with an intravenous infusion for 60 minutes. ACTIV-2 is the name of the clinical trial. KUMC is one of 40 participating sites in the trial.

The trial allows the doctors to introduce different agents as they become available, according to Dr. Castro. The first one will be a monoclonal antibody from Eli Lilly and Co. Antibodies are made from immune cells and fight infections.

The drug was manufactured in a lab from antibodies isolated from a patient who had a COVID-19 infection, he said at a news conference on Tuesday morning at the KU Health System. The antibodies were studied, and monoclonal antibodies were developed from it, he said. It targets the spike protein on COVID-19, he added.

“The early phase 2 trials look very promising,” he said. This trial will enroll around the country, and will help determine how safe and efficacious it is, he said.

It is not active treatment, but an opportunity to participate in a study, Dr. Castro said. Some of the study participants will get a placebo, he added.

Those who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 and have mild-to-moderate COVID-19 not requiring hospitalization are eligible for the trial. Those who want to participate in the trial may call 913-588-4022 for more information, he said.

The trial is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, he said.

KU earlier was participating in an Astra-Zeneca vaccine trial that was put on hold to investigate a patient’s reaction to it in the United Kingdom, he said. The trial resumed in the UK but the case is still under review in the United States, he said.

The KU doctors’ news conference is online at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/660945301491764.

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