Willis-Knighton seeks participants for clinical trial investigating drug to treat COVID-19

Willis-Knighton Health System is seeking participants to be part of a clinical research study to determine whether a new drug made up of monoclonal antibodies shortens the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection and reduces the need for medical visits  or hospitalization due to the virus. Safety will also be assessed. The health system is one of 100 sites in the United States and the only one in the region involved in this study. 

“We are proud to have been selected as a clinical research site for this trial, which is being supported by the Federal government,” says Joseph Bocchini, MD, infectious disease specialist at Willis-Knighton.  “If proven to reduce the severity of a COVID-19 infection, monoclonal antibodies could become the first recommended outpatient treatment of persons with COVID-19 infection.” 

Dr. Bocchini and Clint Wilson, MD, of Family Medical Associates, are principal investigators for the study. 

People who qualify to participate must be age 18 or older and have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 with symptoms such as fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, etc. Patients who are currently hospitalized or who have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 are not eligible, says Carrie Kay, RN, CCRC, WK Physician Network clinical research manager.

The duration of the study is 30 days. Participants will receive a single dose of either one of two formulations of the study medication or a placebo at the WK COVID Research Infusion Center and will be monitored at home and tested by healthcare professionals throughout the study.

There is no charge to the participant or insurance for visits, medication, or monitoring. Instead, each patient will receive a small stipend for the time and travel involved for his or her participation.

“We feel this is one of the most promising options as a bridge to keep patients as outpatients until a vaccine is approved,” Kay says.

To learn more about this study and eligibility requirements, call Carrie Kay at (318) 455-9730 or go to https://www.wkhs.com/clinical-trials/ and click on COVID.