Regeneron: Experimental drug used on Trump also being tested in Southland

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- President Donald Trump has already received two experimental treatments to help him fight off the coronavirus.

The president received a second dose of Remdesivir on Saturday without any complications, according to his physician.

Remdesivir is an antiviral medication developed by Gilead Sciences more than a decade ago. It is still considered experimental as a treatment for COVID-19 with emergency use authorization.

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The other is an antibody cocktail being tried in studies involving Southern California patients.

Trump has also received an injection of an experimental drug made by Regeneron made from human antibodies.

Memorial Care's Long Beach Medical Center is one of the locations where the Regeneron treatment, a one-time intravenous medication, is being studied.

"This is a very promising therapeutic strategy against COVID-19," said Dr. Jimmy Johannes, a pulmonologist and principal study investigator with the Long Beach facility.

"The antiviral therapy strategy is to essentially stop the virus early in its tracks before the virus causes havoc with the immune system and the rest of the body."

The White House says Trump received an injection of eight grams of the drug. Johannes says that's the high dose given in the trials.

Regeneron recently reported promising signs that the treatment could help clear the virus sooner and reduce the chance of hospitalization.

To qualify for the study Dr. Johannes says they want to see patients who test positive for COVID-19 within the first 7 days of symptoms. They hope to finish enrollment in the study by the end of the year and they are continuing to look for patients with a range of symptoms from mild to severe.

The drug is also being tested at Providence Saint John's Health Center.

Dr. Terese Hammond says so far 14 local patients have received the drug.

"Only four people had any kind of reaction to this one-time infusion and of those four people the reaction was very mild," Hammond said.
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