- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 24, 2020

MedStar is partnering with Johns Hopkins University on two new studies that will look at the use of convalescent plasma as a way to treat and prevent COVID-19.

Researchers are recruiting participants from the D.C. metro area for the studies. The trial is reportedly the first multi-center, double-blind and randomized clinical trial in the U.S. to examine the effectiveness of convalescent blood plasma as an outpatient therapy for the coronavirus.

Johns Hopkins and MedStar are looking for trial participants who tested for COVID-19 no more than five days ago and were positively diagnosed and who still have symptoms but haven’t been hospitalized. The researchers are also looking for people who were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 no more than three days ago, but who don’t have any symptoms.

The researchers are conducting the studies to determine if giving people antibodies is an effective way to treat early-stage coronavirus and prevent those exposed from catching the respiratory disease.

“The early treatment trial is measuring the impact of plasma on the progression of the disease and hospitalization of patients as well as viral levels. For the infection prevention trial, investigators are looking at whether plasma reduces the number of patients who test positive or become symptomatic for Coronavirus after being exposed to the disease,” said Dr. David Sullivan, a lead study researcher at Johns Hopkins University.

The study would include 500 participants to test infection prevention and 600 for early treatment, according to Dr. Sullivan. Participants who receive the plasma could have up to five follow-up visits over 90 days.

The researchers would follow up with participants for infection prevention transfusion on days one, seven, 14, 28 and 90 and on days 14, 28 and 90 for those who received an early treatment transfusion.

Dr. Sullivan said the team would like to finalize enrollment as soon as possible and anticipate having preliminary data shortly once all participants enroll in the coming weeks.

Trial participants will be compensated up to $200. More details about compensation is available once a potential participant contacts the investigators either online or by phone.

Those interested can call 888-506-1199 or visit www.CovidPlasmaTrial.org to take the enrollment questionnaire.

The studies will be conducted at two sites:

  • MedStar Georgetown University Hospital at 3800 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington, D.C.
  • MedStar Washington Hospital Center at 110 Irving St NW, Washington, D.C.

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