Franciscan Health recruits, treats patients in COVID-19 clinical trial to help stop virus

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INDIANAPOLIS — Franciscan Health is recruiting and treating patients in a clinical research study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an antibody treatment drug, LY-CoV555, in patients with early mild to moderate COVID-19 illness caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.

The Eli Lilly and Company sponsored study, called the BLAZE-1 Study, is looking for people 18 and older who recently tested positive for the virus, showed symptoms, and aren’t hospitalized.

“The antibodies are basically proteins that our body use to fight off infections with,” Franciscan Health’s Director of Critical Care Services Dr. Imad Shawa said.

Researchers say LY-CoV555 is an antibody therapy engineered from one of the first individuals in the U.S. to recover from COVID-19 and is specifically designed to attack SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Laboratory studies have shown that LY-CoV555 binds with high affinity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and neutralizes its ability to infect cells and replicate.

If a person is eligible and decides to participate, Franciscan Health’s research staff will perform specific tests and procedures to monitor the patient’s health and how their body reacts to the LY-CoV555 antibody treatment.

“Hopefully this will have some impact and if it does that will be at least something to fight off this deadly virus,” Dr. Shawa said.

The study drug is being compared to a placebo, and both the study drug and the placebo will be administered as a single-dose intravenous infusion. Participants will be randomly selected to receive the placebo or the study drug.

Franciscan Health Indianapolis and Hammond are two of 24 hospitals across the country chosen to be research sites, and two of three in Indiana.

If you have tested positive and exhibited symptoms for COVID-19 and wish to participate in this study, call (833) 277-0197 or visit JoinCOVIDStudy.com to learn more.

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