New clinical trial for COVID-19 antibodies gets underway in Walker County

New Jasper clinical trial underway for antibody treatment

WALKER COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A new clinical trial that tests COVID-19 antibodies is underway in Walker County.

The trial is called “ACTIV-2” and the goal is to determine whether this antibody therapy can safely and effectively treat COVID-19.

Antibodies are proteins our immune systems make to fight diseases. Experts said if a strong antibody for a specific disease is found, it can be reproduced in a lab and turned into a treatment, called a “monoclonal antibody.”

The trial involves adults in Jasper/Walker County who have the virus but aren’t sick enough to be hospitalized.

The study is entering Phase Two and will look at the safety of the antibody therapy, as well as its ability to reduce the symptoms of COVID-19 over a 28 day period.

“Once you have an infection with COVID, the virus is out of the barn, so to speak. It’s in the body, it can do significant problems once it’s in the body, but this antibody is kind of trying to keep it in the corral,” said Medical Director/Principal Investigator, Jasper Summit Research, Dr. Jan Westerman.

“The goal of this synthetic antibody is to block its entry into the cell and therefore limit the disease progression,” Dr. Westerman explained.

If you are wondering why Jasper/Walker County was chosen for this study, Dr. Westerman said Jasper has an active research program which has participated in multiple studies throughout the year.

He said Walker County is in a high-intensity area for COVID-19, with around 204 new cases of the virus within the last two weeks.

If you’re interested in participating in the trial, you can find more information by visiting www.riseabovecovid.org.

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