May 5, 2020 at 7:32 PM EDT – Updated May 6 at 8:16 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Atrium Health is participating in a clinical trial to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients with a drug called Remdesivir.
Remdesivir was originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences to treat patients with Ebola but evidence has shown it may help in treating other viruses including COVID-19.
In the clinical trial, ten patients who are on ventilators in the ICU at Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center can be treated with the drug at one time. Principal Investigator Dr. Christopher Polk says the patients will receive the medication for 10 days and then be monitored for 30 days.
Preliminary results in a separate clinical trial involving the drug are promising, Dr. Polk says.
“Saying that days of hospitalization were decreased from 15 to 11 days and there may be also be a lower death rate in the group that was treated with Remdesivir versus those who were not,” Dr. Polk said.
According to Atrium Health, overall side effects from the drug appear to be low. There may be effects on a patient’s kidneys and liver.
In addition to the Remdesivir clinical trial, Atrium Health is participating in a clinical trial involving the drug Selinexor, as well as many other therapies that could potentially treat COVID-19.
“I don’t think anyone expects this to be a magic bullet. And we have a long road ahead of us as far as developing better treatments and developing better ways of managing these patients,” Dr. Polk said.
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