ATLANTA — Nearly three weeks after President Donald Trump touted an experimental antibody drug as one of the keys to his fast recovery, Channel 2 Action News has learned that some Georgians are getting the same treatment.
Jeff Fowler, of Roswell, is one of three participants enrolled in Regeneron’s clinical trial, which is being conducted at Mount Vernon Clinical Research in Sandy Springs.
Jeff made the decision to join the study after his wife, Sue, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
“On Tuesday, she actually started feeling some sensations down her back,” said Fowler, who told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden that he’s still waiting on his test results. “She thought she might have a rash and thought it might be shingles. Today (Friday) she lost her smell and possible taste.”
Fowler was on Facebook when he saw an ad for the clinical trial.
“I was excited for a chance to take the drug,” Fowler added.
Fowler said since the pandemic began, he and his wife have worn masks and practiced social distancing.
“We wear masks when we go out in public,” he added. “We’re really not around that many people so it was surprising she was able to contract it.”
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On Friday, Channel 2 also spoke with Dr. Shraddha Dubal, the clinical director of Wake Research’s Atlanta site. She says they’re currently searching for another seven volunteers to participate in the clinical trial.
“We still need the volunteers who have the household contacts that have tested positive and the volunteer has not had a test yet, so we don’t know if they’re positive or negative,” she said. "We also want them enrolled in the program within 96 hours of their household contact having their test. "
“We’re trying to prevent illness or lessen the duration or severity of the illness,” she added.
In the meantime, Regeneron has released its findings from a trial of 275 non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were treated with either the antibody cocktail or placebo.
The company stated patients saw an improvement in their conditions and reported milder symptoms.
But despite encouraging results, the drug has not yet been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.
Dubal said shows the antibody cocktail given in these trials will last a shorter time than a potential vaccine.
Right now, there is no set timetable as to when the drug will be available to the general public, but Regeneron and Eli Lilly, two companies behind the antibody treatments, have applied to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization.
If you’re interested in participating in this trial, you could earn more than $3,000 for taking part in it.
Here is how to take part:
Call Mount Vernon Clinical Research office directly: 404.843.4400
Call or Text “COVID” to 470.863.1968