SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Researchers at UC Davis Medical Center are testing a new experimental COVID-19 treatment that was given to President Donald Trump.
What You Need To Know
- Dr.Timothy Albertson is leading the efforts at UC Davis to find drugs to treat COVID-19
- Currently, Dr. Albertson is testing a new antibody cocktail produced by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
- The cocktail is composed of human antibodies that are made by bacteria built to combat COVID-19
- The treatment works by attacking the spiked-protein on the coronavirus
Dr. Timothy Albertson is leading the efforts at UC Davis to find drugs to treat COVID-19. He has been involved in multiple clinical trials since the coronavirus outbreak began in March.
Currently, he is testing a new antibody cocktail produced by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
“It’s a cocktail because there are two different monoclonal antibodies,” Albertson said.
He explains that the cocktail is composed of human antibodies that are made by bacteria built to combat COVID-19. He said the treatment works by attacking the spiked-protein on the coronavirus.
“There’s another monoclonal antibody that attacks another part of the virus. Together they may be killing the virus before it even gets a chance to get inside,” Albertson added.
The clinical trial to test the drug has been running for the last three months. Now, UC Davis is wrapping up one of the early phases before moving forward. Albertson said the antibody cocktail has been tested on a wide variety of people.
“They’re using it to treat people who have the disease, using it to treat people who might be exposed, people who have known to be exposed, and people who have the disease but are not sick enough to come into the hospital yet,” Albertson noted.
So far, more than 100 people have participated in multiple ongoing clinical trials to test the antibody cocktail. Albertson said preliminary results suggest that the antibodies are providing protection.
“That’s probably what stimulated interest in the drug from the White House for POTUS, and presumably, that’s what resulted in them getting the drug under compassionate use,” Albertson explained.
The president’s physician said Trump received a single, eight-gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail after testing positive for COVID-19. However, Albertson said the treatment’s effectiveness is still unknown. The antibody cocktail is not yet FDA approved, but Albertson is optimistic.
“That’s what this is all about, saving lives, improving the quality of their life, and letting them get out of prison,” Albertson said.
He said he hopes more people will participate in the clinical trials so that doctors can find better ways to treat COVID-19 patients in the future.