Tomball research center starting coronavirus vaccine trials

DM Clinical Research, a Tomball research center, has begun testing a coronavirus vaccine. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
DM Clinical Research, a Tomball research center, has begun testing a coronavirus vaccine. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

DM Clinical Research, a Tomball research center, has begun testing a coronavirus vaccine. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

DM Clinical Research, a Tomball research center located on Medical Complex Drive, has begun testing a coronavirus vaccine on patients in the Greater Houston area.



Fredric Santiago, an investigator and internal medicine specialist for the trials, said in a July 9 interview the trials are currently in Phase 3 and being funded by pharmaceutical companies.



“Phase 3 is the last step before general marketing of the vaccine,” he said. “Phase 4 is the post-marketing phase and sold to the public.”



Santiago said DM Clinical was chosen not only for its reputation and history of working on vaccine trials and drugs, but because of its location as well.



“Some of it has to do with the infection rate and activity of COVID[-19] in this area,” he said.



Although the vaccine is in Phase 3 of its trials, Santiago said getting it to the public depends on results of the trials and could last anywhere from three to 12 months.



If the results of the trials are going well within the first three to six months, Santiago said it could be given out to the public. However, if results are poor it could result in ending the trials.



“Does one shot provide lasting immunity? Or do you need a booster? Or do you have to have it redone every year because the virus is changing its genetic makeup?” he said. “Those are the questions that are going to be answered as a result of this study.”



The vaccine does not contain the novel coronavirus, Santiago said; instead, it is a novel particle that makes the body create antibodies to attack the virus.



One of purposes of the study is to identify those who are at higher risk of exposure to the coronavirus and those who are at risk of suffering complications if exposed to the virus.



Santiago said DM Clinical Research is currently looking for volunteers who fit into the two categories of people who are at a higher risk of exposure—such as health care workers, first responders, families of first responders, and those who do not follow health and safety guidelines such as wearing a mask—and those who are part of the at-risk population for suffering complications, such as the elderly.



A stipend of just over $1,000 will be given to volunteers who are chosen for the trials to get a wider range of people, Santiago said.



“Participating in a study like this has costs associated with it ... you may have to travel here or pay for a babysitter,” he said. “If you don’t help people with [those costs], you will only get people in the study who can afford to be here.”



Santiago said researchers need people from all socioeconomic levels and diverse backgrounds to prove the vaccine works across the general population.



“We have gotten behind the curve in trying to control COVID[-19] in this country and around the planet because of its tendency to be highly infectious," he said. “In order to get back to normal, we are going to have to be able to control this bug. ... The major way to do that is to develop a vaccine that would either limit how serious[ly] the infection occurs in a person in the future, or either decrease the chances of dying from it.”



Santiago said DM Clinical Research is actively trying to recruit as many people from the community as possible to participate to get ahead of the virus.



“It has disrupted everything, and the sooner we can get on top of this infection and return to normal the better everyone [will be],” he said.



MOST RECENT

Magnolia's First Baptist Church will host its annual pumpkin patch, featuring food and other activities, such as hay rides, "punkin' chunkin'" and photo opportunities. (Courtesy Magnolia's First Baptist Church)
Fall fun: 8 pumpkin patches to visit in North Houston

From photo opportunities to hayrides, here are a few places to put on your list this fall.

(Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
Shogun Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar opens in Spring and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Montgomery County Precinct 2 is eyeing widening lanes on Nichols Sawmill Road from Butera Road to FM 1774 with its leftover $10 million from the county’s bond, Commissioner Charlie Riley said. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Funding plans for Montgomery County roads unclear as state, county see less funding

Montgomery County Precinct 2 is eyeing widening lanes on Nichols Sawmill Road from Butera Road to FM 1774 with its leftover $10 million from the county’s bond, Commissioner Charlie Riley said.

Over 146,00 county residents had cast ballots as of Oct. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
See where turnout stands at Montgomery County's polling places after 9 days of early voting

From Willis to The Woodlands, thousands of county residents have turned out to vote each day since early voting began Oct. 13.

An election official directs a car to a spot at the Humble Civic Center's drive-thru voting location. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court rules Harris County drive-thru, curbside voting can continue

More than 98,000 ballots cast at drive-thru polling sites across Harris County will be counted in the Nov. 3 election.

An election official directs a car to a spot at the Humble Civic Center's drive-thru voting location. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Drive-thru voting in Harris County becomes popular and more top Houston-area news

Read top stories from the past week from the Houston area.

Up to 40,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas members could be impacted if a contract agreement cannot be reached. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CHI St. Luke's Hospital faces potential contract termination with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas at multiple Houston, Southeast Texas locations

If an agreement cannot be reached, up to 40,000 Houstonians could find their local hospital is out of network for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.

Children of all ages are encouraged to dress up and collect candy from decorated trunks in a Halloween trunk or treat event hosted by Medella Urgent Care–Magnolia on Oct. 31. (Courtesy Medella Urgent Care-Magnolia)
15 spooky, fall and holiday events to attend in Tomball, Magnolia through mid-November

Mark your calendar! It's a busy fall in Tomball and Magnolia with several events to choose from.

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tackling Texas' vote-by-mail system: Applying, delivering, tracking your ballot

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

The Tomball VFW Post 2427 is located on Alice Road. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)
Despite 80-year legacy, COVID-19 could be last straw for VFW Post 2427

“We’ve become a cornerstone of the community,” said Stephen Biehl, commander of the Texas VFW District 4, which includes the Tomball post. “This building has been here since 1973. The post has been here since 1940. We’re a piece of Tomball [and] the Tomball area.”

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at Juergen's Hall Community Center in Cy-Fair. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County’s early-voting turnout up 23% over same time frame in 2016 general election

The five busiest polling locations in Harris County have averaged more than 1,700 in-person voters daily thus far during early voting.

The Tomball Lions Club will host its 26th annual Car Show Fundraiser at Tomball High School on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Courtesy Tomball Lions Club)
Diaper drive-thru, barbecue and more: Things to do this weekend in Tomball, Magnolia

The Tomball Pregnancy Center, Tomball Lions Club and Texans United for Freedom—among others—will host events this weekend.