UCSD Health assessing antiviral treatment for COVID-19

Posted at 12:28 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 15:30:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — UC San Diego Health and three other UC Health medical centers will begin to recruit participants for an antiviral drug being tested to treat the novel coronavirus.

The medical system will start "phase II" clinical trials for the antiviral drug remdesivir. The drug has "shown activity in animal models and human clinical trials of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, Ebola, Marburg and other viruses," according to UCSD Health.

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Remdesivir is not currently approved for the treatment of any infection by the FDA, but is currently undergoing trials for treating multiple viruses, including COVID-19.

“With this type of adaptive study design, if remdesivir proves to be safe and active, the clinical trial may be rapidly adapted to remove the requirement for a placebo arm and add a treatment arm that includes other promising antiviral or other investigational drug to compare with the activity of remdesivir," said co-principal investigator Constance Benson, professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health.

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UC San Francisco, UC Irvine Health, and UC Davis Health are also participating in the trials. The trial is projected to run until April 1, 2023 and involve 440 participants.