EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — DHR Health Institue for Research and Development held a press conference on Thursday to discuss a new COVID-19 mobile research unit.
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The mobile research unit, called “research on wheels” by Dr. Sohail Rao is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to a press release, NIH only granted nine units throughout the U.S.
“The Mobile Research Unit will be used to enroll thousands of patients and volunteers in large scale clinical trials testing a variety of investigational vaccine, monoclonal antibodies, and drugs intended to protect people from COVID-19 and/or treat them for acute and chronic complications of COVID-19,” said Dr. Sohail Rao, DHR Health and president and CEO DHR Health Institute
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Dr. Rao reminded the public that although we are one year into the pandemic, there is no FDA-approved treatment for COVID-19.
“What we are trying to do is work with NIH, and other agencies and commercial partners to bring to our community the most innovative treatment that could prevent people from progressing from mild, to moderate to severe disease,” he said.
Dr. Rao explained the different types of chronic diseases that have appeared in patients that test positive for COVID-19 are cardiovascular, renal, behavioral changes, and fatigue.
“What we plan to do in this particular unit, which is what I call ‘research on wheels’ is to not only work for getting a cure for the acute disease but also look at some chronic complications… and how to prevent [them].”
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“Research on wheels” will conduct four clinical trials. Two will be testing unique monoclonal antibodies, one of which is a pill.
“A patient will take [the pill] for 14 days to try to prevent the virus from actually doing its harm to the body,” Rao explained.
Dr. Rao also announced that soon DHR will begin a COVID-19 vaccination protocol trial for children with Phizer and Moderna.
DHR Health Institute for Research and Development will expand the capacity to conduct innovative clinical trials that would benefit residents of the Rio Grande Valley.
DHR Health has been hosting various clinics in Edinburg to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the RGV community.
Watch full press conference here: