SEATTLE — When President Donald Trump went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for COVID-19 treatment, doctors gave him an experimental antibody cocktail made by the company Regeneron.
“It was like, unbelievable. I felt good immediately,” the president said this week at the White House.
“I know they call them therapeutic. But to me, it wasn’t therapeutic. It just made me better. OK, I call that a cure,” Trump said.
The drug is called REGN-COV2.
In the lab, researchers said it neutralizes the virus.
The president got the drug to help him recover.
Doctors think a smaller dose of the same cocktail could prevent people from getting infected.
“We’re very excited about this because this has the potential to stop new infections in the community and interrupt community transmission, and that will drive down the number of new cases,” said Dr. Ruanne Barnabas of UW Medicine.
She is now recruiting Seattle-area volunteers for a study that will include 2,000 people across the country.
Researchers want to test the drug on people whose family members or housemates are infected.
“We will test whether the antibodies prevent them from becoming infected themselves,” Barnabas said.
Despite the president’s enthusiasm, Barnabas said it is important to fully test the drug.
“We need to know whether it works. We need to know how it works. We need to work who it works for. And with all clinical trials, we need to establish that it’s safe,” she said.
Researchers would like to hear from people within a few days of a household member getting infected.
People in the study will have to come to Harborview Medical Center weekly for a month, and then monthly for seven months.
© 2020 Cox Media Group