The Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center recently announced that the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has joined a global clinical trial to analyze the antiviral drug remdesivir which could be a potential medication for the dreaded COVID-19. Remdesivir was previously used in humans during the Ebola outbreak, and it also proved to be therapeutically beneficial for the treatment of SARS and MERS coronavirus in animals.
The novel coronavirus has already affected 2 million people across the globe, killing more than 125000 individuals. However, scientists have not been able to come up with vaccination as yet.
According to the announcement, Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center has already begun enrolling participants for the drug trial. The drug has not yet been approved anywhere in the world for anything more than clinical testing. However, medical professionals are quite optimistic about the drug’s capability to be used as a medicine to fight the COVID-19.
The trail is being sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and as many as 75 sites from across the world are participating in it.
Dr. Catharine Paules, an infectious disease physician with Penn State Health commented, “Health care providers around the world are looking for effective therapies to treat COVID-19. This clinical trial provides us with an opportunity to begin investigating whether this experimental therapy may be safe and helpful to patients in our community and beyond.” Paules added, “We urgently need treatment options for COVID-19 as we continue to battle this virus. We thank the trial participants who are helping contribute to the discovery of new therapies, which is a core part of why Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine exist.”
As of now, only the patients hospitalized with COVID-19 will be able to participate in the trail, which is also randomized, controlled and double-blind.