Hennepin Healthcare has announced it has launched two clinical trials to study the safety of using an antiviral drug created for Ebola patients on those with the coronavirus.
The Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI), the medical research organization based at Hennepin County Medical Center, says it will be trialing the drug Remdesivir on patients with moderate or severe COVID-19.
Remdesivir is an antiviral developed by Gilead Sciences and was previously tested on patients with Ebola, and has shown "antiviral activity" against other coronavirus-caused contagions such as MERS and SARS.
HCMC will become a clinical site for what is a broad range of international multi-center randomized trials to treat COVID-19, which will see 70 coronavirus patients enrolled in Minnesota out of 1,000 worldwide.
"We are proud to be a site that’s conducting research on this investigational treatment,” said HHRI’s Principal Investigator Jason Baker, MD, MS.
"The clinical trials will help to determine if remdesivir is a safe and effective drug that can improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 here at Hennepin Healthcare and in the broader community.”
Patients who qualify for the trial will have to give their consent to be involved, otherwise a legally authorized representative can give consent on their behalf if they're too sick.
The treatment with remdesivir will be contrasted with patients who received the standard treatment for moderate to severe coronavirus.