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UT Health San Antonio joins national study to test anti-coronavirus drug in critically ill patients

The investigational drug, called remdesivir, is for adults 18 and older. Researchers say it has shown promise in laboratory and animal tests against COVID-19.
Credit: KENS 5

SAN ANTONIO — Some coronavirus patients at University Hospital will have access to a new investigational treatment as UT Health San Antonio joins a national study.

75 hospitals across the country are studying the effects of a new antiviral called remdesivir on critically ill coronavirus patients. The purpose is to see if this drug is safe and effective in treating coronavirus compared to a placebo. If it is, it may become the new standard of care.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at UT Health San Antonio, will lead the study at University Hospital.

“Our nurses and doctors are very encouraged to be able to offer this antiviral, which appears to be the most active to date against SAR-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19,” he said. “We anticipate that patients will be enthusiastic about participating.”

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is sponsoring the trial. They say remdesivir works by stopping a particular mechanism that causes the virus to reproduce early on. They say that tests in the laboratory and on animals have produced promising results.

Brooke Army Medical Center is also participating in the study, and there are also sites in Houston and Galveston.

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