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Clinical trials being conducted in Buffalo for promising COVID-19 therapy administered to President Trump

The University at Buffalo clinical trial focuses on people exposed to the virus but who have yet to contract the virus.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The same antibody therapy that was administered to President Trump, and which he credits for his rapid and apparent full recovery from COVID-19, is the subject of some clinical trials being held by the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Sanjay Sethi is leading UB's clinical trial of a drug cocktail made by the company Regeneron and called REGN-COV2.

It involves monoclonal antibodies, which are first created In a laboratory and which can stick to the spiked protein of the virus, possibly blocking its ability to multiply.

It is injected into a trial participant.

"So basically, you are getting some immunity that is already being built up," Dr. Sethi told WGRZ.

UB is one of many research and medical institutions conducting clinical trials on REGN-COV2 throughout the country.

Another clinical trial being conducted at ECMC involves monoclonal antibodies being administered to hospitalized COVID-19 patients to see if it can aid in their recovery,

The focus of this particular UB clinical trial, however, is not on those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but instead on those who have been exposed to someone who has it.

"It's to see if it can prevent COVID development if you have been in closed contact, like in a household situation, with someone who is already COVID positive or who has the disease," Dr. Sethi said. "We're trying to find out if a small dose is maybe all you need to stave off the virus." 

Or at least, reduce its severity.

Not just anyone who lives with a person who is confirmed to have COVID can sign up though.

"We have to give this to them within 96 hours (four days) of someone being exposed," Dr. Sethi said. "What we are learning is that the antibodies work when you do it early."

That's why a number of individuals who wanted to participate in the study were disqualified, and why Sethi hopes to find several hundred more participants.

"It's a randomized placebo controlled trial so there's a 50 percent chance of getting an antibody, and 50 percent chance of getting a placebo. But that's how we come to figure out if these things work or not," he said.

Would you like to participate?

Participants in the clinical trial must 18 years of age, live with someone who recently tested positive with the coronavirus, and be free of COVID-19 symptoms.

Those selected are also paid what Dr. Sethi described as a "generous" amount for their participation.

Those interested should contact Kelly Green, clinical research coordinator with the UB's Clinical Research Office by calling 888-4764 or sending an email to kjk22@buffalo.edu   

RELATED: ECMC takes part in Regeneron drug trial