University of Utah and John Hopkins University Collaborate to Investigate Antibody Treatment Against Delta Variant

University of Utah and John Hopkins University Collaborate to Investigate Antibody Treatment Against Delta Variant

With the goal of developing a treatment to stop the COVID-19 Delta variant, the University of Utah has set up a clinical study with Johns Hopkins University. Study investigators are working with the intention to stop covid-related hospitalizations and keep the virus from spreading.

As reported by the local KUTV News, “Recent statewide data shows the Delta variant makes up for 80 percent of all new infections we’re seeing in Utah.” They continued that “Medical leaders across the state expect those numbers to continue rising.”

The Study

The Convalescent Plasma study centers on the use of the liquid portion of the blood collected by individuals who have already recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection. After fighting COVID-19, their plasma may actually contain potent antibodies that may be of help to other patients in their battle against severe infection.

Importantly, TrialSite tracked the first large-scale effort during the beginning of the pandemic. That effort was led by Mayo Clinic. While convalescent plasma was authorized by the FDA under emergency use authorization (EUA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the time didn’t think that there was enough data to justify the action.

As the study website reports, existing studies include plasma in hospitalized patients but what about those that are not hospitalized? Hence this study led by Johns Hopkins University to investigate the use of plasma in non-hospitalized yet infected patients. There are also some challenges with this approach in that it’s somewhat expensive to administer as compared to an antiviral type orally administrate approach but no other therapy has emerged that the NIH and FDA will authorize.

Involving a potential variant antibody treatment, the trial is reported as being two-thirds of the way through with an end date in August.

It’s a randomized control trial, in that participants have a 50 percent chance of getting antibodies and a 50 percent chance of getting a control.

Volunteers Needed

Since the study is volunteer-based, they need people who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 to join within five days of the initial diagnosis.

Johns Hopkins Infectious Disease Doctor David Sullivan explained how the study works: “You’re participating and fighting covid. We do pay you to participate, those details you can find out from your local Utah team.”

He also shared that, so far, Salt Lake’s been a great location for this trial, as it’s one of 12 active sites conducting the study now.

Call to Action: Interested in joining? Visit the study’s website to view eligibility requirements.

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