Metairie company fast tracks clinical trial that could provide different treatment methods for coronavirus

Published: Mar. 26, 2020 at 6:44 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The owner of the research company, MedPharmics says it’s partnering with East Jeff to study blood samples from COVID-19 patients to find ways to treat the virus.

After training medics at test sites on how to safely administer COVID-19 swabs, the research company MedPharmics wants to study samples from patients for possible treatments.

"One of the things that they're trying to figure out is why do some people get better and some people don't? And that is in part, due to the immune system. So the blood is being used to study the immunological response," MedPharmics Medical Director Robert Jeanfreau said.

MedPharmics’ Founder, Andrea Jeanfreau said it’s finding people who test positive for COVID-19 and build up antibodies in their system in as little as two weeks from the onset of the disease.

Blood samples with those antibodies could help other patients.

"You have to build the antibodies. It takes time. Some of these patients are really sick, so they want the antibodies, give it to the patients, and the antibodies, there they are. You don't have to make them. they're in your system," Jeanfreau said.

She said some researchers say the antibodies can start working in other patients in as quickly as 30 minutes.

“A lot of people have called me and said what are they doing treatment? I mean, there must be something. A vaccine, a drug, anything, but there isn’t. So we’re having to create it as it’s happening, and that is the problem,” Jeanfreau said.

Jeanfreau said they're also going to be studying the efficacy of anti-malaria drugs for those who aren't sick enough to be in the hospital.

"It seems to be working, that's why we have to do clinical trials to make sure that it does work," Jeanfreau said.

They say clinical trials usually take time, but they're fast-tracking the process.

"You want to identify people who are actively infected so that they can be treated and secluded and we want to stop this pandemic from getting worse and worse and worse, and so far, the numbers are continuing to climb," Jeanfreau said.

MedPharmics is working to set up and the study should start by April 15.

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