SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Health experts in New Mexico are working on research to treat and prevent COVID-19. The AXCES research group in Santa Fe is looking for people to participate in a new clinical trial that is designed to treat people who are living in a household with someone infected with COVID.
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Doctor Linda Gorgos is leading the “Move Ahead” trial in Santa Fe. She explains, “The idea is that we can treat the household contacts who are not already ill and try to prevent them from getting COVID in the first place or if they do get COVID to make it a much milder illness.”
The drug being tested, Molnupiravir, is an oral antiviral medication and works directly against the coronavirus. “This is a pill-based medication that’s taken for five days. The idea is that it basically blocks the virus from making copies of itself and shuts the virus down so that you can prevent someone from getting ill or from getting sick from COVID,” says Gorgos.
Participants who qualify for the trial will go to the research site for an initial visit and bloodwork screening. Then if they are eligible and start the medication, researchers will follow them closely over a period of a month.
Researchers will do nasal swabs and blood work on participants along the way to see if they get infected. People will also be compensated for their participation in the trial. Dr. Gorgos says this drug has been tested on animals and administered to people in earlier phases of the trial.
“We have a really good handle on what to expect and really what we see are very minimal side effects. You know we council people, you know this is what you should anticipate, this is what you should look for,” Dr. Gorgos explains. “I think these are really well-tolerated medications and we really keep a close eye on people. “
AXCES Research also has a partner study “Move Out” with the same medication to treat people who have been infected with COVID-19 and are not yet hospitalized. For more information on these clinical trials, visit merckcovidresearch.com/move-ahead.