Los Angeles, California.- The Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai Hospital joins an international effort to test an antiviral drug in its experimental phase as a potential treatment for COVID-19 (coronavirus), as announced on its website. from the internet this Tuesday.
The Los Angeles medical center is joining forces with multiple hospitals worldwide during a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Health (NIH) and hopes to enroll its first participant this week.
The trial is evaluating ‘remdesivir’, an investigational drug developed by the biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc., based in Foster City, in San Mateo County, Northern California.
Remdesivir belongs to a class of antiviral drugs designed to inhibit an enzyme that certain viruses, including the one that causes COVID-19. The drug is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing to the general public.
Currently, there are no specific FDA-approved therapies to treat people with COVID-19.
According to the announcement, in animal studies, remdesivir showed promise in counteracting other types of coronaviruses that caused two previous outbreaks of life-threatening respiratory diseases, such as SARS and MERS, according to Dr. Victor Tapson, MD, director of the Cedars-Sinai site for the NIH trial.
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“We need randomized, controlled studies to verify that remdesivir is both safe and effective,” says Cedars-Sinai & # 39; s Dr. Victor Tapson. “That is why this clinical trial is so important.” https://t.co/HDGTgg0rrh
– Cedars-Sinai (@CedarsSinai) March 31, 2020
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While the drug achieved significant improvement in COVID-19 patients who received remdesivir, these individual cases aren’t enough to demonstrate the drug’s effectiveness, Tapson said in the trial announcement.
“We need randomized, controlled studies to verify that remdesivir is safe and effective,” Tapson said. “This is why this clinical trial is so important.”
Cedars-Sinai plans to enroll up to 30 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 for the trial.
One group will receive 200 milligrams of remdesivir given intravenously on the first day, followed by a once-daily maintenance dose of 100 milligrams during hospitalization, for 10 days. While the control group will receive injections of a placebo medication that appears identical to remdesivir but lacks the active ingredient.
At the end of the trial period, the researchers will compare the results of the treatment and control groups on clinical severity, hospitalization and mortality, and will also assess the safety of the drug.