A Waterloo hospital is participating in a clinical trial to study a possible treatment for patients severely impacted by COVID-19.

According to a press release, MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center is partnering with the Northeast Iowa Medical Education Foundation on the study in hopes of keeping patients off ventilators. The research will test the safety and effectiveness of CSL312, a monoclonal antibody given to hospitalized patients through intravenous treatment.

“The antibody is administered in addition to normal therapy,” said Dr. Matthew Sojka, chief medical officer at MercyOne Northeast Iowa. He noted some patients participating in the clinical trial will receive the medication, while others will receive a placebo.

“The study will help determine if this treatment can reduce the severity of respiratory distress associated with the virus,” said Dr. Jim Hoehns, clinical pharmacist and research director at Northeast Iowa Medical Education Foundation. “We hope this can decrease the progression of the disease and keep individuals off a ventilator.”

Only 124 participants are expected to enroll in the study worldwide. The clinical trial should be complete by the end of the year.

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