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‘Antibody cocktail’ tested among Augusta COVID-19 patients

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 6:19 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The fight to end COVID-19 is far from over, but one local home healthcare company has joined the battle.

Interim Healthcare of Augusta is in the middle of three clinical trials to find a COVID-19 treatment and eventually a vaccine.

The trials are spearheaded by a pharmaceutical company called Regeneron. It’s the same company that created the experimental treatment given to President Donald Trump.

Augusta University gives the “antibody cocktail” to non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and then Interim Healthcare checks up on those patients with frequent home visits and data collection.

So far, Regeneron says the cocktail has proven to reduce symptoms and the viral load.

“It means that they recover faster, they’re not quite as ill -- all that kind of stuff,” Cutter Mitchell of Interim Healthcare said. “We get to help those patients we see day in and day out, and at the same time -- it’s kind of cool if you can be a footnote in the history books as well.”

Meanwhile, while local numbers have been on the decline, state and national numbers are going back up, even setting some new records for daily new cases.

Historically, the Augusta area has fallen about a week behind the Metro Atlanta area which is currently spiking.

The Georgia Department of Health reports the statewide seven-day average of new cases sits above 1,500. Just last week, that number was around 1,300.

In South Carolina, there’s a similar story.

On Oct. 25, the Palmetto State reported more than 750 new cases compared to 530 cases just a week earlier.

Local companies like Interim Healthcare are working to find ways to get rid of this virus not just for people here but all over the world.

“There are three current clinical trials. One is the antibody cocktail, which is essentially, it’s given to combat the symptoms but also prevent other infections,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell and his team at the home healthcare company say they’re the “boots on the ground” part of this clinical trial.

“It’s kind of cool if you can be a footnote in the history books,” Mitchell said. “It does reduce the viral load in folks that take it,” “It means that they recover faster, they’re not quite as ill.”

This virus and pandemic have been a story of peaks and valleys. One can only hope trials like these flatten the curve once and for all.

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