Hennepin Healthcare clinical trials study drug that could treat COVID-19 patients

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Ongoing clinical trials at Hennepin Healthcare will study hospital patients with severe and moderate cases of COVID-19.

MINNEAPOLIS – Hennepin Healthcare researchers are joining sites around the world to study a drug that may help patients with COVID-19.

Ongoing clinical trials at Hennepin Healthcare will study hospital patients with severe and moderate cases of COVID-19. They will receive an IV of remdesivir, an experimental antiviral medication. It was created to treat Ebola, but was not effective for this disease.

“It actually blocks the ability of the virus to reproduce genetically. It blocks this replication, “said Dr. Jason Baker, director of infectious diseases at Hennepin Healthcare.

Hennepin Healthcare joins sites around the world, including the Mayo Clinic, which are conducting these specific clinical trials.

“Multiplying studies can be helpful,” said Dr. Baker. “The repeatability of the results is actually very important to establish that it works. “

Baker says laboratory tests have shown the drug works well against the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19. Clinical trials will now determine if it can work well in humans as well.

“Not only is it useful, but also how it is useful,” he said. “Are we preventing people from riding on fans?” Quickly remove them from the fans? Can we send them home faster? “

As of Friday evening, five people have signed up for Hennepin Healthcare’s trials and are working to recruit more.

Dr. Baker says they may have initial test results as early as the end of this month.

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The State of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronaviruses at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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