UVA doctors study new treatment to prevent COVID-19

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Posted at 12:28 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 17:46:44-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - University of Virginia doctors are testing an antibody cocktail given to President Donald Trump over the weekend to determine if it can prevent COVID-19 infection in people who are exposed.

It’s part of phase three of a clinical trial testing coronavirus antibodies made by the drug company Regeneron.

“What we're part of at UVA is a study to see will it actually work to prevent the infection, which would be very exciting, basically doing what a vaccine will do next year when it's available,” explained UVA Dr. William Petri, who is leading the Regeneron study at UVA.

Petri said Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, administered to roughly 300 people in a trial, worked to shorten the length of the COVID-19 symptoms by up to five days. It’s up for FDA approval for emergency use authorization.

Researchers hope the treatment can also help prevent someone exposed to the virus from contracting it.

Related: UVA infectious disease expert troubled by President Trump’s behavior

“If you live in a home, say if your husband or wife or your roommate has COVID-19, you have a one in five chance of getting the infection yourself. So, what we're trying to do is lower that one in five chance down to next to nothing by being able to give these antibodies,” Petri said.

UVA needs more people to enroll in its study, especially the Black and Latinx community. You can call (434) 924-9691 to find out if you’re eligible.

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