Trump’s COVID-19 treatments being offered in Sioux Falls

Oct. 3, 2020

The treatments given to President Donald Trump for his case of COVID-19 are also being used in Sioux Falls patients.

Doctors reported the president was given a therapeutic from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which is going through later stages of clinical trials.

Avera Health announced last month it is one of the sites enrolling patients in the Regeneron trial.

It focuses on three patient groups:

  • People hospitalized with COVID-19, evaluating if it can stop progression of the disease.
  • People diagnosed with COVID-19 but not hospitalized, evaluating if the combination of antibodies can stop progression of the disease.
  • People who were exposed to someone with COVID-19, evaluating if it will decrease symptom severity or even prevent the disease altogether.

“This is a really exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of research in this area,” said Dr. Jawad Nazir, the principal investigator for the three studies and an infectious disease specialist with Avera Medical Group, at the time of the announcement.

“One of the reasons we chose these studies is they examine various combinations of two different antibodies designed to specifically target this disease and how it attacks cells.”

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced the first data from its clinical trial in late September showing “it reduced viral load and the time to alleviate symptoms in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.

Eligible Avera participants must be 18 or older and live in the Sioux Falls area. Call 605-504-3154 if you think you or a family member may meet the criteria for one of these studies.

The approach used by Regeneron, which involves monoclonal antibodies created in a lab, is similar to the approach used by Sioux Falls-based SAB Biotherapeutics, with some differences.

The SAB therapeutic, which is in earlier stages of clinical trials, uses fully human polyclonal antibodies created in genetically engineered cattle. It’s being tested for safety in COVID-19 patients in a clinical trial at Sanford Health.

SAB’s therapeutic is the only one to attack the virus with specifically developed, human polyclonal antibodies – the way the human body was designed to fight these kinds of viruses – without the need for human donors or serum, CEO Eddie Sullivan said in a recent interview.

“The natural way is a polyclonal response, where you have literally thousands of antibody species binding to multiple places on the target, and that allows the immune system to work with those antibodies and literally activate the rest of the immune system within the patient,” he said.

Trump also was given the antiviral drug Remdesivir, which has been used in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in clinical trials. It has been shown to cut recovery time by about 30 percent. Both Avera and Sanford have administered Remdesivir to patients. One of the scientists whose work led to the discovery of Remdesivir recently was named a finalist for Sanford’s Lorraine Cross $1 million prize for advances in medicine.

Find COVID-19 case numbers, other updates here

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Trump’s COVID-19 treatments being offered in Sioux Falls

The treatments given to President Donald Trump for his case of COVID-19 are also being used in Sioux Falls patients.

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