Clinical trial begins for new COVID-19 treatment

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) is participating in a NIH-sponsored clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir in hospitalized adults diagnosed with COVID-19. The study is being led by Ann R. Falsey, M.D., and Angela R. Branche, M.D., with the URMC Vaccine Trials and Evaluation Unit (VTEU).

Remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences, is a broad-spectrum antiviral treatment that has been previously tested in humans with the Ebola virus and has shown promise in animal models for treating Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which are caused by other coronaviruses. It is believed that the drug blocks a particular enzyme that is required for viral replication.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial will involve acute COVID-19 inpatients at Strong Memorial Hospital. The study may be expanded over time to include additional investigational antiviral treatments.

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