Researchers in the United States have begun human trials of a drug that could treat the coronavirus that has infected over 80,000 people and killed over 2,700 worldwide, CNN reports.
The National Institute of Health announced Tuesday that the University of Nebraska Medical Center has started a clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of remdesivir, an antiviral drug, in adults who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, known by the official name COVID-19.
“We urgently need a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. Although remdesivir has been administered to some patients with COVID-19, we do not have solid data to indicate it can improve clinical outcomes,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is the trial’s regulatory sponsor. Fauci also is a member of the U.S. Coronavirus Task Force. “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial is the gold standard for determining if an experimental treatment can benefit patients.”
Patients who have been hospitalized and show at least moderate symptoms of the virus will be eligible for the trial. A group of 14 American citizens who were evacuated from the cruise ship the Diamond Princess are being treated at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, 12 of whom tested positive for the coronavirus.
“The goal here is to help the people that need it the most,” Dr. Andre Kalil, who is overseeing the study, told ABC News.
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