For Immediate Release
Director of Corporate Communications
Virginia Hospital Center
Trial Will Evaluate Safety and Effectiveness of the Antiviral Drug Remdesivir
Arlington, VA: April 10, 2020 – Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, has joined a national clinical trial to test a potential medication for the treatment of COVID-19. Hospitalized adult patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and significant symptoms – including difficulty breathing, using supplemental oxygen or needing a ventilator – can now enroll in the trial through VHC.
The trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of remdesivir, an antiviral drug previously tested in humans for the treatment of Ebola. Remdesivir has shown promise in animal studies as a treatment for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which are both caused by different types of coronavirus.
“Investigating all potential treatments for this novel coronavirus is a top priority here at VHC as we work to provide our patients with the best possible care,” said Jeffrey DiLisi, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Virginia Hospital Center. “We are optimistic that the data collected through this valuable study may help to positively shape the outcomes for all patients diagnosed with COVID-19 going forward.”
Participants in the trial will be randomly assigned to either receive remdesivir or a placebo intravenously for up to 10 days. Trial participants and their doctors will not know whether patients are receiving the medication or a placebo. Patients will otherwise receive the current standard of care for their symptoms. VHC physicians will assess trial participants each day for changes in their condition.
Trial data from all participating hospitals and an estimated 440 patient participants will be combined and analyzed about halfway through the trial’s enrollment period to determine whether any changes to the trial are needed. The trial could be stopped if participants are not benefiting from remdesivir, or the trial could be changed to add another medication or therapy that could improve participants’ response.
The study is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health. Gilead Sciences Inc., which developed remdesivir, is supplying it for the study.