California Launches Two New Clinical Trials To Treat COVID-19 Patients
If successful, they could be the FDA's first approved drug for the coronavirus.
Thursday, UC Davis Medical Center began conducting clinical trials to treat patients with severe cases of coronavirus. The studies will look at the effect of two drugs on improving the viruses' symptoms. If successful, the COVID-19 clinical trials could be the first FDA-approved therapeutic agent to relieve symptoms.
According to UC Davis Health, its researchers are testing the drugs antiviral remdesivir and sarilumab.
Remdesivir has previously been used to treat humans with cases of Ebola.
This drug has also been helpful in treating animals with severe acute respiratory symptoms (SARS), caused by other coronaviruses, said Davis Health officials.
In February, doctors used this drug to treat someone who was critically ill with COVID-19. According to UC Davis, this was “the first known case of community-acquired infection in the U.S.”
The patient has returned home for recovery.
Overall, the study will involve 440 patients across the country, including ten or more from UC Davis and will carry out over the next several months.
Qualifying patients for the test must be over the age of eighteen and have an "acute COVID-19 infection."
Participating patients will be grouped for study according to both the severity of their illness and the progression of their symptoms.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that there are no FDA-approved approved treatments to ease coronavirus symptoms at this time.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is funding this study. It is a larger coordinated effort with a study recently launched at the University of Nebraska.
To flatten the curve of COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a statewide 'stay at home' order.
As of March 19, all Californians have been on lockdown, only allowed to leave their home for 'essential reasons' and emergencies, according to an official statement from the office of Governor Newsom.