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Mayo, U studying Trump’s experimental treatment for COVID-19

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The experimental antibody treatment that President Donald Trump received for COVID-19 is the subject of an ongoing clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic and a soon-to-be launched University of Minnesota study.

Doctors say the “cocktail” of monoclonal antibodies ordered by Trump’s doctors is one of the more promising options under development in the race to find treatments for the new disease, which claimed 69 lives in Minnesota last week — the highest weekly toll since June.

Research at Mayo already is underway evaluating the antibody treatment in hospitalized patients. This fall, the U expects to enroll patients in a study looking at whether the antibodies can prevent infection and illness in household contacts of people who have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“I think there’s reason for optimism that this approach might be effective,” said Dr. Andrew Badley, chairman of the Mayo Clinic COVID Research Task Force. “The catch is, we don’t yet know well what the efficacy is; we don’t yet know well what the safety is.”

Studies of the treatment, which are being conducted at more than 100 medical centers, also will help show which patients might benefit most from monoclonal antibodies, said Dr. Brad Benson, chief academic officer at M Health Fairview. The treatment is intriguing and hopeful, he said, but there have been problems in the past with patients accessing other similar therapies due to cost and technology challenges.

“When I think of the price tag on most immunotherapies or monoclonal antibody therapies, they are steep,” said Benson, who is a professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “Our goal would be that everyone has access to the science and the therapies that our president would have.”

The Minnesota Department of Health reported Saturday another 14 deaths from COVID-19,

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University of Texas in Trial Phase of Regeneron COVID Treatment Similar to Drug First Used by Trump

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Scientists at the are carrying out tests for a trial of a similar experimental antibody treatment than was first given to President Trump as he began treatment for the coronavirus.



a group of people standing on top of a desk: A doctor puts on hand sanitizer in the ER at Oakbend Medical Center in Richmond, Texas, on July 15, 2020. Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are currently carrying out a number of trials of Covid-19 treatments, including one previously given to President Trump.


© Mark Felix / AFP/Getty Images
A doctor puts on hand sanitizer in the ER at Oakbend Medical Center in Richmond, Texas, on July 15, 2020. Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are currently carrying out a number of trials of Covid-19 treatments, including one previously given to President Trump.

UTHealth researchers are studying the efficacy of an antibody treatment from drug maker Eli Lilly as well the first treatment of antibodies the president took, from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Since being admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for further monitoring on Friday, specialists at the hospital opted to initiate Remdesivir therapy, according to a statement from the official presidential physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley.

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“There’s been a history of using antibody’s to treat infections,” said Dr. Netanya Utay, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at UTHealth. “The results that are out so far definitely look promising, but they’re from small trials.”

“We still need to enroll a lot more patients in these studies to really determine how effective they are for decreasing time to symptom resolution and decreasing hospitalizations,” the doctor said according to local news site ABC13.

UTHealth is undertaking several trial studies for antibody therapies and treatments from different drug makers for the coronavirus, including one investigating the use of blood plasma to treat the virus.

The trial being carried out by UTHealth with drugs from Regeneron, the same company behind the experimental drug first given to Trump, is with individuals who have been exposed