UCHealth part of remdesivir clinical trial to determine how long experimental drug should be used

Posted at 9:40 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 00:53:51-04

AURORA, Colo. — Colorado hospitals are doing their part in determining just how effective the experimental drug remdesivir can be against COVID-19.

Denver Health told Denver7 they were involved in the National Institute of Health clinical trial to see if the drug works. At the same time, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital was part of a Gilead trial to see how long remdesivir should be given.

After spending time in the ICU at UCHealth due to COVID-19, Juan Rivera was asked to be part of a remdesivir trial, different from the study Dr. Fauci spoke about earlier Wednesday. Instead, this trial was meant to determine how long the drug should be given.

Rivera was one of 31 patients to be part UCHealth's portion of the trial. He admits he had initial reservations about participating, but now believes remdesivir helped him recover.

"You start to feel a little better. You’re getting stronger and stronger and stronger," River said.

UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital is one of 150 hospitals around the world participating in the Gilead trial to determine if remdesivir should be given for five days or ten.

"We did not see a significant differences in benefit from five days to ten days," said Dr. Thomas Campbell.

Dr. Campbell is a professor at the CU School of Medicine and is helping to spearhead UCHealth's portion of the study.

"What that finding means is we can use that for a shorter period of time, which is good news because we will only use half of the drug that would be needed for 10 days," said Dr. Campbell.

Dr. Campbell calls it a big step, but still just the first step in the fight against COVID-19.

"The first treatment is not what usually determines to be the best but it allows us to build on something," he said.

Currently, there are no FDA approved treatments for the coronavirus. Remdesivir is just one of many antiviral drugs being looked at. However, an official told The New York Times that the FDA may soon announce an emergency use authorization for remdesivir.