Tonight’s episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine continues the discussion of COVID-19 to a set of clinical trials being administered by UW-Madison and UW Health. Vaccines may be the best way of combating this pandemic, and several appear to be on the cusp of clinical trials. However, in the meantime, some drug cocktails could also be effective in fighting coronavirus. One such drug, REGN-COV2, has been developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Tarrytown, New York, and is beginning the late phases of three separate clinical trials. So, our guest tonight is the coordinator of those trials, Dr. William Hartman, who is officially a professor of anesthesiology at UW-Madison. Dr. Hartman describes REGN-COV2 as a cocktail of two specific antibodies that are very potent in targeting the virus’s spike proteins. Without the spikes, the virus cannot attach to healthy human cells to infect them. The clinical trials will be divided into three separate ones based on the patient’s state of infection. One is for those who exhibit severe breathing and other health issues where the patient has to be hospitalized. Trial two are for those patients that are infected, but not severely, and don’t need to hospitalized. And finally, the third trial concerns test subjects who are not even infected, but are in close contact with someone who is, like a family member at home. This last one is interesting in that it tests the drug to see if it can prevent someone from being infected. Dr. Hartman explains the process of each trial. UW-Madison is just one site of over 100 around the country that will accumulate testing data on this drug.
For more information, here is an AP online article.
To follow the trials, click on this link to clinicaltrials.gov.