North Texans to Be Part of More COVID-19 Clinical Trials

The next phase of one investigational COVID-19 treatment may impact North Texans who are critically ill

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Scientists are making headway in the hunt for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines and North Texans are being asked to be a part of it.

Baylor University Medical Center will be a clinical testing site for CytoDyn's investigational drug Leronlimab, which has been used in a number of patients with COVID-19 as part of two clinical trial applications that have been fast-tracked by the FDA.

Leronlimab is an experimental treatment for HIV infections but is thought to reduce the amount of inflammation in the lungs caused by the coronavirus, so it may help with breathing problems in COVID-19 patients.

"We have over 1,100 patients' safety data that shows that we have hardly any serious adverse events," CytoDyn CEO Dr. Nader Pourhassan said.

Tests will continue to measure efficacy.

The two-time injectable, according to doctors at Baylor Scott & White, will be given to severely or critically-ill patients who agree to the treatment.

"What we try to do with this medication like we do with many other medications that we are trying, is to decrease the swelling or inflammation that happens in the lungs," said Dr. Uriel Sandkovsky, principal investigator and Baylor University Medical Center's Infectious Disease.

Leronlimab is just one of 450 potential therapeutic candidates under investigation, according to Market Report.

Twenty-six vaccines are in human trials and experts say the ones that prove most effective will get final approval, possibly in late 2020 or early 2021.

Benchmark Research reports it is looking for North Texans willing to be part of COVID-19 vaccine trials.

The Coronavirus Prevention Network is a newly launched website where the NIH is recruiting volunteers for five different vaccine clinical trials, with several clinical test sites are in North Texas.

"We need diverse numbers of diverse folks to participate, ethnic, racial groups, occupational groups, ages," said Stephaun Wallace, director of external relations for the COVID-19 Prevention Network.

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