Baptist one of the first to join trial of drug to prevent COVID complications

By , Daily Memphian Updated: November 19, 2020 11:04 AM CT | Published: November 19, 2020 11:04 AM CT

Baptist Memorial Health Care is one of the earliest participants in a new clinical trial with INmune Bio Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing treatments that target the immune system’s ability to fight disease.

Baptist Clinical Research Institute is leading Baptist’s participation in the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of Quellor, a medication designed to potentially prevent the progression of pulmonary complications and inflammation from COVID-19. 

“Quellor is designed for patients who are at a higher risk of experiencing more severe symptoms from COVID-19,” said Dr. Jeffrey Wright, pulmonologist at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. “We’re hopeful that this treatment will prevent the progression of acute symptoms while helping us care for some of our most vulnerable COVID-19 patients.”

The treatment consists of one to two doses through injections, depending on the patient’s condition after the first dose.

Quellor is a water soluble protein that inhibits tumor necrosis factor, one of the “central orchestra conductors” in the inflammatory response, said Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, infectious disease expert at Baptist.

“What we think happens in later disease with COVID-19 is that the immune system gets a big run up with virus, then as it catches up, it catches up too far. You start setting fires in our own house,” he said.

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“The idea of dampening that response in some folks in that situation could be life-saving.”

To qualify for the trial, patients need to be hospitalized, over 60 and have other underlying conditions.

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More information is available here.

The Baptist Clinical Research Institute, formerly known as the Baptist Clinical Research Center, opened in 1989. It conducts inpatient and outpatient Phase 1 through 4 clinical trials to assist in the development of medical care for patients.

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Quellor Dr. Stephen Threlkeld Dr. Jeffrey Wright Baptist Memorial Health Care
Jane Roberts

Jane Roberts

Longtime journalist Jane Roberts is a Minnesotan by birth and a Memphian by choice. She's lived and reported in the city more than two decades. She covers healthcare and higher education for The Daily Memphian.


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