Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center-Longview

Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center-Longview on Wednesday March 1, 2017. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

Christsus Good Shepherd Health System is one of more than 50 health organizations around the world to participate in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trial to test the safety, tolerability and efficacy of a combination treatment regimen for COVID-19.

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 employed in this trial is anti-coronavirus hyperimmune intravenous immunoglobulin, or hIVIG. These antibodies are highly purified and concentrated, containing several times more neutralizing antibodies than typically found in the plasma of people who have recovered from COVID-19.

“Our Research Institute is continuing to lead regional efforts to research novel treatment options for COVID-19,” Director for Research and Academics Pukar Ratti said. “We are thrilled to be the only area hospital to offer our patients the opportunity to participate in the clinical trial of this investigational blood-based therapy”.

“The hope is by giving patients anti-coronavirus hIVIG at the onset of symptoms, it will augment the body’s natural response to the virus, thereby reducing the risk of more serious illness and death,” said Dr. Sreenath Meegada, Christus Trinity Clinic Hospitalist and Principal Investigator for Christus Good Shepherd. “This trial will help determine if combining this investigational drug with remdesivir can help stamp out the virus in the early stages of COVID-19.”

The NIH clinical trial is enrolling 500 hospitalized adults who have had COVID-19 symptoms for 12 days or fewer and who do not have life-threatening organ dysfunction or organ failure. Study participants are being randomly assigned to receive back-to-back infusions of either investigational anti-coronavirus hIVIG and remdesivir or a placebo and remdesivir. Neither the participants nor the study team will know who is receiving which treatment regimen until the end of the trial. Study participants are being followed for 28 days. More information about this clinical trial can be found at clinicaltrials.gov .

“We are proud that Christus Good Shepherd is taking a leading role in what is truly an international effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” CEO Todd Hancock said.

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