A new clinical trial from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will look at remdesivir plus baricitinib as a potential COVID-19 treatment.
Remdesivir is an intravenous antiviral drug that's been studied recently as a COVID-19 treatment on its own, and a recent analysis showed that remdesivir can help shorten recovery time compared to patients who got a placebo. Baricitinib (under the brand name Olumiant) is an anti-inflammatory drug that's taken orally and that's approved in the United States as a treatment for adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers are anticipating enrolling more than 1,000 participants in this clinical trial in the United States and internationally. Eligible patients who wish to enroll must have a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and evidence of lung involvement, including the need for supplemental oxygen, abnormal chest X-rays or an illness requiring mechanical ventilation, according to the press release on the clinical trial. Those with only mild or no symptoms will not be included in this study.
This new clinical trial will randomly assign eligible participants to one of two treatments: participants will receive tablets of baricitinib and remdesivir in an IV or participants will receive placebo tablets and remdesivir in an IV.
Researchers will look at if recovery time is shorter in the combination treatment (baricitinib plus remdesivir) in comparison to remdesivir alone.