PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Naval Medical Center Portsmouth is one of five U.S. Department of Defense facilities conducting a study using monoclonal antibodies for the prevention of COVID-19.
The study is called STORM CHASER, though it has nothing to do with severe weather. It stands for Study To Optimally Reduce Morbidity in Care Homes And Sites with Enhanced Risk.
Adults who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past eight days may be eligible for the trial. Some are given two injections during one office visit, and others are given a placebo.
If it appears the product is working, investigators will send the data to the Federal Drug Administration in hopes of receiving emergency approval.
That could still be several months away, said Lieutenant Commander Tida Lee, an infectious disease physician and lead investigator for the STORM CHASER trial in Portsmouth.
“The idea that we’re trying to figure out how we get back to normal life, this may be part of that,” Lt. Cdr. Lee commented.
She said it would be especially useful in the military which often has close quarters.
“If you’re in the barracks or on a ship, you want an option that you can give a product that would protect individuals after an exposure,” said Lt. Cdr. Lee. “So, this is a great population to take a look at this, where we have active duty individuals working in tight spaces.”
The study is sponsored by AstraZeneca. Lt. Cdr. Lee stated that the study medication is different from the vaccine. The antibody combination is not yet approved by regulatory authorities and can only be given as part of a clinical research study.
Lee says participants will be monitored for a year. However, they will likely only be taking volunteers for another week, because they are close to reaching their goal of 1,125 participants.
To be eligible, you must be:
- 18 years or older
- Eligible for care at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
- Not had previous COVID-19 infection or vaccination
- In contact with, or living in the same residence as, someone who is confirmed to be COVID-19 positive within the last eight days.
According to Navy documentation, participants will be compensated for their participation in the trial.
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