CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - University Hospitals announced Monday that they will participate in a clinical trial of a drug to treat people with COVID-19 who do not need to be hospitalized.
UH will be one of the first sites in the nation for the phase 2 clinical trial of the orally-administered drug known as Upamostat, according to a hospital press release.
The drug has demonstrated antiviral and potential tissue-protective effects, the release said.
RedHill Biopharma is evaluating the drug’s effectiveness in treating people who have COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms of the infection but do not need to be in the hospital.
“Laboratory studies have shown that Upamostat may prevent attachment and entry of SARS-CoV-2 virus, commonly called COVID-19, particles to cells. Therefore, it is being studied to see if it helps people with coronavirus infections at an early stage before they become severe and require hospitalization,” said Grace McComsey, the Vice President of Research at UH who is leading the study. “This is what we need currently; we need early COVID-19 studies to keep people at home and out of the hospital and keep COVID-19 as a mild illness that does not progress.”
Those in the study will be randomly given either the drug or a placebo. They will take the drug or the placebo by mouth once a day for up to 14 days, according to the release.
“The purpose of this research study is two-fold: Firstly, to ascertain the most appropriate dose and secondly, to test the safety of the drug and to see if it can help people with early COVID-19 infection. Participants will take Upamostat or placebo just once per day,” said McComsey.
Researchers plan to enroll 310 participants in the study, the release said. They must be 18 or older, have symptoms or a positive test for COVID-19 within three days from the planned start of the study.