Baptist Health Center for Clinical Research among first sites in the U.S. to study COVID prevention agent

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Officials with Baptist Health announced Wednesday the Center for Clinical Research has been selected as one of the first two sites in the country to study a coronavirus prevention agent.

According to a news release from Baptist Health, the prevention agent uses two monoclonal antibodies instead of a vaccine.

Officials say the new study could begin in the next few days.

The study coincides with Operation Warp Speed, which is a nationwide public-private partnership to facilitate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 measures including vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.

“We are preparing to start the COVID-19 prevention trial in a matter of days,” says Richard G. Pellegrino MD, Ph.D., CEO and President of Baptist Health Center for Clinical Research. “Participants must be over 18 and there is no upper limit to participate. This is not a vaccine. Instead, the antibodies bind to the COVID-19 spike protein and prevent COVID from replicating and thereby prevent disease. Of the participants, 67 percent will get the antibody in the form of a shot and 33 percent of participants will receive the placebo.”

Baptist Health officials say AstraZeneca’s long-acting antibody combination will advance into Phase II clinical trials with approximately 5,000 participants in and outside the U.S. The antibodies have been engineered so that they last longer in the body, which could be as long as six to 12 months following a single administration, according to the news release.

The trial will assess the safety and efficacy of these antibodies to prevent infection for up to a year.

Officials say long-acting antibodies mimic natural antibodies and could potentially be given as preventative intervention before exposure to the virus.

These antibodies are a combination of two long-acting antibodies derived from convalescent patients after COVID-19 infection, according to the news release.

For more information, visit arkansascovidvaccine.com.

Officials say if viewers fill out the contact form, this does not commit them to the study, but they will be contacted to give more information and answer additional questions.

Study-related care is available to participants at no cost and health insurance is not required nor needed. Participants will be compensated for time and travel if they qualify and enroll in the study.

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