A Northeast Ohio hospital is among the first in the nation testing a possible treatment for coronavirus.
Cleveland-based University Hospitals will run two clinical trials to test the effectiveness of the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat coronavirus.
The hospital system said in a release that the two trials will provide the drug to hospitalized adults with pneumonia due to COVID-19. One trial will focus on patients with moderate illness, while the other will focus on more severely ill patients who may require care in the intensive care unit.
Dr. Daniel Simon, University Hospitals chief clinical and scientific officer and president, said the trials are some promising news in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are grateful to be one of the first sites in the U.S. to participate in these clinical trials,” Simon said in a news release. “Both trials are now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and our Institutional Review Board, and we are expecting shipment of the experimental drug remdesivir in the next couple of days.”
The studies will be conducted by the UH Clinical Research Center under the leadership of Dr. Grace McComsey, vice president of research and associate chief scientific officer for the hospital system.
“There is no established treatment for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” McComsey said in a news release. “The trials we are preparing to conduct are especially significant because they test an active antiviral treatment, rather than just supportive care.”
University Hospitals said the drug has demonstrated a response against COVID-19 in animal studies. Remdesivir was also shown to be safe and tolerable in in people who received it for Ebola and in earlier studies.
All study participants in both studies will be given active remdesivir intravenously, but will be randomized to either five days or 10 days of treatment.
The two trials will start at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. The hospital system also hopes to open the trial at other locations.