Avera to start clinical studies on experimental antibody therapy

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Avera is getting a new opportunity in the fight against COVID-19. The health care system has been chosen as a clinical site for studies on experimental antibody therapy to prevent and treat the virus.

Finding a way to treat and prevent COVID-19 could be beneficial in the fight against the virus.

Now Avera will be participating in three Phase 2 and 3 clinical studies evaluating whether a combination of two lab-made antibodies can do just that.

The clinical studies have already been approved to move forward following positive Phase 1 safety results.

“Two of the studies, both the inpatient and the outpatient are already treating people that are already COVID positive, and so in those cases, we are trying to decrease the severity of their symptoms, so if they are in the hospital, their length of stay,” chief clinical research officer, Avera Research, Amy Elliott said.

The other study involves people who were exposed to someone with COVID-19.

“For those patients, then it is a prevention study, to try to keep the virus from entering their cells in the first place, and if they would get it, to keep the severity from getting too bad,” Elliot said.

The clinical studies are sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

“If it is successful, we’ve already had experience with it so as it moves into approved therapy, which is where the company would like it to go, then we are comfortable with how to give it, so it gives us kind of a prelook to make sure it’s effective,” chief medical officer of research, Avera, John Lee said.

“To bring these trials to Avera and to this region I think helps continue to put South Dakota on the map for high quality research,” Elliot said.

Elliott says they are hoping to recruit about 45 to 50 people in all three of the studies. Eligible participants must be 18 years or older and live in the Sioux Falls area. You can call 605-504-3154 if you think you or a family member may meet the criteria.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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