UVA to test experimental COVID-19 treatment on patients with severe symptoms

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — UVA Health is joining a national trial to test a potential COVID-19 treatment on patients who are on supplemental oxygen.

The trial looks at how effective remdesivir is. That’s an antiviral drug that has been tested in humans with the Ebola virus. It has been tested on animals to treat MERS and SARS.

“Finding an effective treatment will be incredibly important in our battle against COVID-19,” said K. Craig Kent, MD, UVA’s executive vice president for health affairs. “I am pleased that UVA is a part of this valuable study.”

The trial will randomly choose if a patient will receive the drug or a placebo for up to ten days. 440 patients are expected to take part internationally. The trial can be shutdown early if the drug doesn’t seem to be working.

“Having scientifically sound information about the effectiveness of remdesivir will be helpful as we seek to provide the best care for patients,” said Patrick Jackson, MD, the principal investigator for the trial at UVA.

UVA was also the first hospital in Virginia to develop an in-house COVID-19 test. VCU Health has since developed its own test.

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