Maine Medical Center joined a pair of clinical trials designed to examine the efficacy of the drug Remdesivir for treatment of moderate and severe COVID-19. The trials’ Principal Investigator is David Seder, MD, MMC’s chief of critical care, and was organized under the Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI).
MMC enrolled 11 patients in the trial for patients with severe disease and three patients in the trial for patients with moderate disease. Study participants were at least 12-years old, hospitalized with COVID-19, had no underlying significant kidney or liver dysfunction and were not pregnant or breastfeeding.
“Clinical trials like these are needed to develop evidence-based and effective treatments for patients with life-threatening COVID-19 infection,” Dr. Seder said. “While further study and additional treatments are needed, we have been encouraged by the results from these trials.”
Results of these trials, conducted at hospitals worldwide and sponsored by the drug’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, Inc., indicate that the drug may cut recovery times for patients with COVID-19. In October, the U.S. Food and Drug administration approved Remdesivir under the brand name Veklury for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Children under the age of 12 may be given the drug under the FDA’s emergency use authorization that was originally issued in May.
“One of our responsibilities at MMCRI is to give Maine people access to important clinical trials like this one that provides access to potential treatments,” said MMC’s Chief Academic Officer Doug Sawyer, MD. “While participation in a clinical trial does not guarantee patients they will be cured, and not everyone is eligible for participation, without such trials we will never learn more about how to fight this novel disease.”
MMC continues to treat patients using Remdesivir under the emergency use guidelines authorized by the Federal Drug Administration.