The clinical trial of remdesivir for use on patients with severe cases of COVID-19 will continue with an added therapy. Remdesivir is now being tested in conjunction with the anti-inflammatory drug baricitinib. It is the first large, randomized controlled trial to study these drugs together as a treatment for COVID-19.
The initial stage of the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT) tested remdesivir alone, and preliminary results showed that the drug might be effective in shortening the time to recovery for some patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The trial is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Penn State Health, one of approximately 100 hospitals participating in the continuation of the study, announced yesterday that it had begun enrolling patients for the ACTT 2, which will look at participants who are given remdesivir and either baricitinib or a placebo containing inactive ingredients.
The addition of baricitinib will hopefully help lower the inflammatory response that many patients with severe cases of COVID-19 experience.
Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York also announced this week that they've begun ACTT 2 as well.
"Including baricitinib in our trial may reduce COVID-19-related inflammation and combining baricitinib with remdesivir may yield an even more effective treatment option for people most severely affected by this illness," said Barry Zingman, professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in a press release.