Covid-19 in the Community
Medsential, a company based in Salt Lake City, Utah and led by Chiao-ih Hui, licensed an antibody test to detect Covid-19 antibodies in people that have been infected with the novel coronavirus. They contacted Lakeside Life Science, through a Washington D.C. law firm, Hymen, Phelps and McNamara, to design their clinical studies, and design and submit their FDA documents.
This collaboration started as any other – a business transaction. Contracts and budgets, talks about project design, how to do this quickly, how will we get this test on the market as soon as possible; there is a great and immediate need for this kind of testing in the community, and there is money to be made.
As time went on a transformation started to happen. We began to see each other on web calls with bed head, with screaming children in the background, we started asking each other how everyone is holding up. We began to talk more about the wellbeing of our colleagues, of our friends, of the world we love.
We began talking about how we can use this product, and more importantly, our relationships, to help people. The people of this world that live real lives, who are insecure, and uncertain. We began talking about donating these tests to our local hospitals in New Hampshire to enable them to test their staffs. If we know who may be immune, and who is not, maybe we can deploy the workforce more safely. Not dismiss precautions, but maybe give a little guidance.
As life always does, a question, seemingly insurmountable, arose. Well, what does it mean to be antibody positive? How long are antibodies active? To help answer those questions, Lakeside partnered with another company, Ripple Biosciences, to create a database of people that tested positive or negative with the donated tests. Now we can follow subjects over time to perhaps answer these questions.
We have been conducting clinical studies on these antibody tests in our local, rural community centers, centers that are not known for conducting clinical research, and not one participant has said that they wouldn’t have done the study if they weren’t reimbursed $75. People are driving up to an hour to donate a tube of blood to help their neighbors and to participate in something we all believe will help our world thrive in a time of such uncertainty. With this knowledge in mind, Medsential has offered to donate 3,000 test kits to participate in helping our community. Together, we are reaching out to our healthcare workers who risk their wellbeing, put their fears aside, and work in an uncertain environment every day. An environment that is often used to either sensationalize the fear of coronavirus, or to deny that the risk is real. Yet our essential workers continue to show-up; day in and day out. They work to help their communities. The same community that got in their cars and drove up to an hour to participate in our study. To help.
This is the true spirit of community and progress. It is a desire to be of service. We feel so fortunate to see our neighbors’ partner with one of the largest industries in the world, that they don’t always trust, to help. That is the human spirit in action.
Please join us, by helping us understand the human immune response to Coronavirus so that we can help protect those we love more effectively. Only understanding will lead to solutions. And in the case of the Coronavirus pandemic, understanding starts with a caring community that participates in clinical studies.
If you have been tested for COVID-19 virus, and would like to participate in our clinical studies on tests for COVID antibodies, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.