UAB to participate in global clinical trial for coronavirus treatment
The University of Alabama at Birmingham announced that it will take part in an NIH-sponsored global clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel therapeutic agents in hospitalized adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
The drug remdesivir will be the first agent evaluated in the trial.
The UAB site was activated on Wednesday by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. That means it can begin enrollment as part of this phase three therapeutic clinical trial immediately.
UAB is one of several sites being activated for the trial. The study will be conducted in up to 75 sites globally. Dr. Paul Goepfert, professor of medicine in the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases, serves as the UAB principal investigator for this study.
“Remdesivir worked well in the test tube and animal models against a close relative of COVID-19,” Goepfert said. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to rapidly determine whether this drug will help treat hospitalized patients with COVID-19 here at UAB.”
UAB is home to the Antiviral Drug Discovery and Development Center, or AD3C, which focuses on developing treatments for four different virus families, including coronavirus.
AD3C research produced the investigational drug, remdesivir, that is now being used to treat a few select patients in China and the U.S. who have contracted COVID-19. Read about remdesivir.
COVID-19 can cause mild illness that can be overcome, but more severe cases can be life-threatening.
At least 466 cases of the disease have been confirmed in Alabama as of this morning, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. On death, in Jackson County, has been reported.
“COVID-19 is rapidly spreading throughout the world, and the U.S. now has the third-highest number of cases in the world, with more than 50,000 patients,” Goepfert said, “Although the first case of COVID-19 in Alabama was diagnosed just over a week ago, we now have more than 400 cases in our state.”
On Wednesday morning, UAB reported that more than 60 people with confirmed COVID-19 cases were hospitalized at its medical center, with half of them on ventilators.
(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)