Willis-Knighton seeks participants for clinical study to prevent COVID-19

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Willis-Knighton Health System is seeking participants to be part of a clinical research study to determine whether a new drug can reduce the infection rate and progression to COVID-19. The health system is one of 10 sites in the United States and the only one in Louisiana involved in this study.

“Willis-Knighton has a well-established research division that’s highly respected in the medical community,” says Clint Wilson, MD, of Family Medical Associates and principal investigator for the study. “That, in combination with the amount of COVID-19 cases in the area, led the sponsoring entity to feel comfortable with our ability to do a great job acquiring the data for this medicine.”

Dr. Wilson says the goal of the new drug and study is to see how to best achieve safety for all healthcare and nonhealthcare providers taking care of COVID-19 patients in the medical setting and at home.

Two groups of people qualify to participate: first responders or healthcare workers age 18 or older who have come in daily contact with COVID patients without use of N95 masks or adequate protective gear, and anyone age 50 or older who has lived with a person with COVID. People who have had the virus or who have a history of pulmonary disease are not eligible.

Carrie Kay, RN, CCRC, WK Physician Network clinical research manager, says everyone will be followed for approximately 28 days to assess the incidence of infection and progression to COVID-19. Participants will receive up to four doses of study drug or placebo via nebulizer over 10 days and will be monitored and tested by healthcare professionals for the duration of the study.

Six visits are required, but there will be no charge to the participant or insurance for these visits, medication or monitoring. Instead, each will receive a stipend of $75 per visit, up to $525.

“The end result of this preventive study is that participants will not develop COVID-19 symptoms,” Kay says. “I’m excited that Willis-Knighton can be a part of such a large-reaching goal of preventing the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Wilson adds. “The data will be so important in letting us know how we can continuously improve the health and well-being of the people we serve.”

To learn more about this study and eligibility requirements, call Carrie Kay at (318) 212-8130 or go to: https://www.wkhs.com/clinical-trials/ and click on COVID.