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Fighting COVID-19: UC Medical Centers Launch Clinical Trial to Assess Antiviral Drug



Photo of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, isolated from a patient
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Four University of California medical centers — San Diego, San Francisco, Irvine, and Davis — have begun recruiting participants for a Phase III clinical trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of treating adult patients with COVID-19 with remdesivir.

Editor’s Note: GV Wire is contacting companies around the world working on medical advancements to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This is our latest report about efforts to defeat the coronavirus.
GV Wire reached out to UC San Diego for an interview, but the principal investigators for the trial are also both front-line clinicians and therefore unavailable. However, the university directed us to information posted on its website about the trial.

Remdesivir Is an Antiviral Drug

Remdesivir belongs to a class of antiviral drugs that inhibit RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, an enzyme necessary for some RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2 to replicate.
Inhibiting the enzyme may prevent viral replication in infected cells.

440 Participants in Trial

The trial is projected to run to April 1, 2023, and will ultimately involve an estimated 440 participants. It is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, part of the National Institutes of Health.
The UC trial will begin with a small group of participants. All must be hospitalized patients with diagnosed COVID-19. All must be patients of UC San Diego Health or other participating UC health systems.

Research is Evolving and Fluid

“Due to the evolving, fluid nature of this research and what we’re learning daily about the virus and about improving treatment, the trial is designed to be adaptive, to shift investigation to the most promising avenues,” said co-principal investigator Constance Benson, MD, professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health.

The UC San Diego Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine is significantly ramping up testing for COVID-19, projecting a capacity to complete 1,000 to 1,500 tests per day within two to three weeks.

Posted by UC San Diego on Friday, March 20, 2020