Tryon Medical Partners enrolls participants in Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial

Clinical trials to begin in Charlotte for potential COVID-19 vaccine

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Tryon Medical Partners will soon take part in a clinical trial studying the effects of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

“We feel that this is both a fantastic opportunity but also an obligation to move us closer to a vaccine for coronavirus,” Internal Medicine Physician Dr. Ryan Shelton said.

Tryon Medical Partners’ SouthPark clinic is one of 87 locations in the U.S. taking part in Phase 3 clinical trial sponsored by Moderna, an American biotechnology company dedicated to drug development.

The trial will study the effectiveness of the mRNA-1273 vaccine that is being developed to prevent COVID-19. If successful, the vaccine is expected to prevent COVID-19 for up to two years after two doses of mRNA-1273.

“It’s not a live vaccine. It’s a spike protein,” Dr. Shelton said. “So, it’s a piece of the coronavirus, this novel strain. That is in the vaccine and it’s just enough to cause our body’s own internal defense mechanism to recognize that this is something foreign and to start mounting the antibodies which is a protein that can help us fight it off its encountered again.”

The study will involve 30,000 patients. Tryon Medical Group’s SouthPark clinic could test more than 350 patients.

Participants will receive two doses of a drug via injection on Day 1 and Day 29 of the study. Half of the patients enrolled in the study will receive a placebo drug. Physicians administering the drug will not know which patient receives the mRNA-1273 injection vs. those who receive the placebo.

According to a Moderna press release issued on July 14, a prior phase of the clinical trial showed a rapid and strong immune response against COVID-19. The biotech company also reports that the vaccine was generally safe and well-tolerated by patients.

“This has been studied in humans already. This came out of NIH (National Institute of Health) recently. So now the next step is the phase 3 trial which basically changes it to a larger scale, broadly across the country,” Dr. Shelton said. “Actually, there were pretty minimal side effects. A local infection where you might get a little redness or soreness. Maybe you feel a little achy or sluggish for a day or so. But this medium-dose that was studied, that’s what’s being used in the phase 3 trial, this one was the best tolerated and highly effective as well.”

Tryon Medical Partners is enrolling participants now. The study will begin on July 27.

“We’re looking for Adults over 18 who may be of higher risk of exposure so maybe teachers, college kids who are on campus, frontline workers, first responders, healthcare workers, and then anyone over age 65 as well,” Dr. Shelton said.

If you’re interested in participating, call: 704-586-9386

Participants will be paid for their enrollment. For more information click here: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT04470427#contacts

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