Amarillo top 5 in nation for volunteers for antibody study intended to save COVID-19 patients lives

Amarillo top 5 in nation for volunteers for antibody study intended to save COVID-19 patients lives

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo could be a huge part in saving people during the early stages of COVID-19.

The feeling of testing positive for COVID-19 was heart wrenching for Amarillo residents Landon Moreland and his wife.

We’ve got a 3-year-old, we want to see him grow up and just didn’t want to experience being in the hospital or on the ventilator or anything like that,” said Landon Moreland, a participant in the Regeneron antibody trial.

When they found out there was an opportunity to participate in a new COVID-19 antibody trial that could potentially save their lives and others in the future, they didn’t hesitate.

“Just the opportunity to help out and continue the study and maybe like you said be a part of history one of these days,” said Moreland.

Since August, the Pharmatex research facility has been asking people who have been COVID-19 positive for three days to participate in their double-blind Regeneron antibody trial.

These patients either receive a full, limited or placebo of an antibody designed to diminish severe symptoms of COVID-19 later on.

“If you’re 70 years old and have diabetes, your chance of progressing to a bad illness is high and so, we want to give this to patients so that it can decrease that from progressing and help them mount a response,” said David Brabham, president of Pharmatex in Amarillo.

So far, over a 150 people in our area have participated, making Amarillo’s site having one of the top five numbers of volunteers throughout the nation.

“I think it shows great courage that people from Amarillo are willing to trust in the physicians that are offering them therapy that isn’t sure that it’s going to work, but it shows great courage that people are willing to give their time and efforts to enroll in these trials to show whether they work or not,” said Brabham.

Brabham says this one of the ways we can get through this virus, with people volunteering in studies for new break throughs.

“You have to be able to do that to show these medicines work, everybody wants something that’s going to help, everybody is eager to have something that helps, if patients aren’t willing to enter these trials than it will never be known if these medicines work,” said Brabham.

Brabham says the preliminary data and emergency use of the antibody has shown positive results.

He says they will need thousands more of volunteers to eventually make the antibody FDA approved.

“If we can help one person or several people, it was definitely well worth participating in it,” said Moreland.

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