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Tucson clinic one of several testing COVID treatment used on President Trump

Posted at 4:05 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 21:47:48-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — After his COVID-19 diagnosis President Donald Trump was given a dose of a monoclonal antibody cocktail, being developed by Regeneron.

It's not yet FDA approved and is currently in clinical trials across the country, including in Tucson.

"We were excited to hear it," said Dr. Anita Kohli, Director of clinical research at AZ clinical trials. "I don't know that I was entirely surprised."

Dr. Kohli says she and her staff immediately theorized President Trump might be a good candidate for Regeneron's monoclonal antibody cocktail.

"We all sort of hypothesized that one of the experimental, one of the investigational drugs that's in clinical trial now, was going to be used for him given the promising date that's been released," Dr. Kohli said.

Dr. Kohli runs one of the clinical trials for Regeneron's antibody cocktail at AZ Clinical Trials in Tucson.

She has 120 patients in the study of REGN-COV2 with 2,000 enrolled nationwide.

Just last week, Regeneron announced positive findings of that antibody drug. Regeneron says it reduced viral levels and improved symptoms in COVID-19 patients.

"The drug is doing what it needs to do. We're very excited," Dr. Kohli said. "We look forward to seeing even more data about the use of this drug and how effective it may be."

Regeneron will now apply for emergency approval with the FDA as facilities like AZ Clinical Trials continues with the antibody study.

AZ Clinical Trials is also starting up a separate and new trial this week. It involves Remdesivir.

Already approved for use of treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients, this is an outpatient trial of a new form of Gilead Science's Remdesivir.

"Remdesivir is generally given as an IV therapy over the course of five days. In this trial we'll be using it as an inhaled solution," Dr. Kohli said. "They're actually trying to reformulate it into an inhaled solution. This would be easier to use for patients."

AZ Clinical Trials is now accepting patients for the Remdesivir trial. They're looking for anyone who thinks they may have COVID or is in the first week of a positive diagnosis.