By: Cheryl Bertrand, Next Level Urgent Care
At the beginning of March, Next Level Urgent Care took care of one of the first COVID-19 cases in our area when a Fort Bend County resident, who had recently returned from Egypt, visited the clinic and was diagnosed days later with the virus. It was then, that Juliet Breeze MD, founder and CEO of Next Level Urgent Care, realized that her team of healthcare workers would be on the front lines as the highly contagious virus began to spread throughout Houston. With the hope of thwarting the spread of COVID-19, Breeze set up testing sites across the city before any public testing sites were available. By early April, Next Level had diagnosed hundreds of COVID-19 cases. However, without any preventive medications or outpatient treatments, the Next Level medical team felt powerless to help the patients affected.
That’s when a physician colleague of Dr. Breeze suggested they look into participating in clinical research trials. The thought of helping scientists to find a faster test, a prevention, a treatment, or even a cure for this relentless virus appealed to Breeze and the team at Next Level.
Next Level immediately set to work applying as a site for trials with all of the largest pharmaceutical companies. A team of physicians excited about research including Chief Medical Officer, Robbyn Traylor MD, and 7-year veteran team members, Terence Chang MD and Wilner Jeudy MD, volunteered to serve as investigators. The team had the good fortune to attract Micko Sanford, BSN, a seasoned clinical trial coordinator, to come on board as the Director of the Research Department.
The Next Level research team got their first opportunity to advance science when they became a clinical trial site for Pulmotect, a nebulized medication that may protect the lungs from serious infections including COVID-19.
The team started a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the medication, PUL 42, in mid-June. The study includes participants who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those who are at high risk for contracting the infection.
In mid -July, Next Level was honored to be chosen as one of only 100 sites across the nation to run a clinical trial for a monoclonal antibody treatment. This study involves a single IV infusion of medicine for both patients who have recently tested positive and also those who are living with someone positive for COVID-19 to study the drug for both prevention and treatment.
Additionally, another large pharmaceutical company has developed a monoclonal antibody treatment and has selected Next Level to begin trials by August 1.
These trials not only allow Next Level to participate in finding ways to combat COVID-19, but allow our patients the opportunity to get involved as well. Study participants are all compensated for their time in contributing to the scientific body of knowledge. Together with the Houston Community, Next Level hopes to play a small part in putting an end to this pandemic.
If you, a friend, or a family member tests positive for COVID-19 and would like to help, please reach out.
For more information about all of the ongoing research trials at Next Level Urgent Care, please visit us at: https://www.nextlevelurgentcare.com/research
Or contact us at: email@example.com