What to know about UC Davis COVID-19 treatment trials

UC Davis Health launched two clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of two drugs to treat severe COVID-19 patients. The medical school is looking for patients with poor lung function, because the drugs treat respiratory infections. “These trials are limited to patients who are acutely ill and have pulmonary or lung symptoms from the virus,” UC Davis School of Medicine Dean Allison Brashear said.There are no FDA-approved therapeutic agents to treat people with COVID-19 at this time.Brashear added researchers are testing antiviral remdesivir, which was previously tested on Ebola patients, and sarilumab, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and may be helpful in treating pneumonia.“These trials have been up and running in a week from the time that we get it, to the time the first patient is enrolled– that’s record time,” she said. “There are about 100 people working on this 24/7.”Levy said UC Davis Medical School increased the number of COVID-19 tests to 200 a day starting Friday, with the ultimate goal of 1,400 daily in the coming weeks. However, patients outside UC Davis Medical Center are also eligible to be clinical trial participants. “These are multi-center trials. That means there are lots of schools—like UC Davis—contributing, signing up patients,” she said. “If you think you may be a candidate for this trial then your doctor can refer you to UC Davis.”UC Davis doctors used remdesivir in February “with emergency approval from the FDA, to treat a critically ill patient who was the first known case of community-acquired infection in the U.S. The patient has since been discharged and is recovering at home.”The remdesivir study will involve up to 440 patients nationally, including about 10 or more from UC Davis, over the next several months. The patients must be over the age of 18, have tested positive for COVID-19 and poor lung function.The sarilumab study will involve about 400 hospitalized patients nationwide that are over the age of 18 and have an acute COVID-19 infection.“These are drugs. Drugs have side effects and some of them can be quite significant,” she said. “So, it’s important to monitor, particularly in patients so critically ill, what that outcome might be.”COVID-19 causes mild to severe respiratory illness, with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. At this time, doctors treat hospitalized patients with supplemental oxygen therapy, antibiotics, influenza antiviral drugs and intensive care as needed, UC Davis Health said.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

UC Davis Health launched two clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of two drugs to treat severe COVID-19 patients.

The medical school is looking for patients with poor lung function, because the drugs treat respiratory infections.

“These trials are limited to patients who are acutely ill and have pulmonary or lung symptoms from the virus,” UC Davis School of Medicine Dean Allison Brashear said.

There are no FDA-approved therapeutic agents to treat people with COVID-19 at this time.

Brashear added researchers are testing antiviral remdesivir, which was previously tested on Ebola patients, and sarilumab, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and may be helpful in treating pneumonia.

“These trials have been up and running in a week from the time that we get it, to the time the first patient is enrolled– that’s record time,” she said. “There are about 100 people working on this 24/7.”

Levy said UC Davis Medical School increased the number of COVID-19 tests to 200 a day starting Friday, with the ultimate goal of 1,400 daily in the coming weeks.

However, patients outside UC Davis Medical Center are also eligible to be clinical trial participants.

“These are multi-center trials. That means there are lots of schools—like UC Davis—contributing, signing up patients,” she said. “If you think you may be a candidate for this trial then your doctor can refer you to UC Davis.”

UC Davis doctors used remdesivir in February “with emergency approval from the FDA, to treat a critically ill patient who was the first known case of community-acquired infection in the U.S. The patient has since been discharged and is recovering at home.”

The remdesivir study will involve up to 440 patients nationally, including about 10 or more from UC Davis, over the next several months. The patients must be over the age of 18, have tested positive for COVID-19 and poor lung function.

The sarilumab study will involve about 400 hospitalized patients nationwide that are over the age of 18 and have an acute COVID-19 infection.

“These are drugs. Drugs have side effects and some of them can be quite significant,” she said. “So, it’s important to monitor, particularly in patients so critically ill, what that outcome might be.”

COVID-19 causes mild to severe respiratory illness, with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. At this time, doctors treat hospitalized patients with supplemental oxygen therapy, antibiotics, influenza antiviral drugs and intensive care as needed, UC Davis Health said.

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