Palm Beach County lab seeks volunteers for COVID-19 antibody treatment clinical trial

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Gov. Ron DeSantis visits a new monoclonal antibody treatment site in Westgate Park in West Palm Beach on Aug. 18, 2021.
Gov. Ron DeSantis visits a new monoclonal antibody treatment site in Westgate Park in West Palm Beach on Aug. 18, 2021.

ATLANTIS — A research laboratory wants volunteers for a clinical trial of a preventive COVID-19 treatment.

JEM Research Institute, just north of JFK Medical Center, is seeking healthy adults ages 18 and older to take part in phase 1 clinical trials for a monoclonal antibody treatment. COVID-19 vaccination status is irrelevant.

"Everyone will get the medication," Dr. David Halpert, an internal medicine specialist with JEM. No one will receive a placebo, he said. JEM said it will offer up to $1,150 to approved volunteers.

The drug being tested is meant to be preventative, unlike COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments by drug-makers such as GlaxoSmithKline, which are administered to patients after they're infected.

To sign up, visit https://www.jemri.net/patients/vaccine-and-treatment-trials/ or call 561-612-2803.

Monoclonal antibodies make it more difficult for virus to replicate

Monoclonal antibodies are made in laboratories and are given to patients directly through an infusion. When administered promptly, they make it more difficult for the virus to reproduce and cause harm.

But some people, such as those with weakened immune systems, need help from monoclonal antibody treatments in addition to vaccines.

The Food and Drug Administration revised authorization on Monday for two monoclonal antibody treatments administered to people after they've been exposed to the coronavirus. The FDA said the treatments by Regeneron and Eli Lilly have been shown to be ineffective against the virus' omicron variant.

Chris Persaud is The Palm Beach Post's data reporter

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Clinical trial on antibody treatment to prevent COVID: Volunteers sought

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