PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Medical Center has 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, M.D., MMC’s chief of critical care, and was organized under the Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI).
MMC enrolled its first patient in the study of treatment for severe disease on April 9 and now has three patients enrolled in that study. MMC has not yet enrolled patients in the study of moderate disease. Study participants must be at least 12 years old, be hospitalized with COVID-19, have no underlying significant kidney or liver dysfunction and not be pregnant or breastfeeding.
“Unless clinical research is conducted to identify which treatments are effective, doctors, nurses and other frontline caregivers will continue to be limited in how they can care for these patients,” Dr. Seder said. “Clinical trials require multi-disciplinary teams who are dedicated to advancing science and patient care so we can develop effective, evidence-based therapies.”
While a preliminary study of 53 patients showed Remdesivir may have some clinical activity against COVID-19, the drug is not yet licensed or approved in the United States and has not been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment of COVID-19. These two studies will enroll up to 7600 patients worldwide. They being sponsored by Gilead Sciences Inc., which manufactures the drug.
“One of our responsibilities at MMCRI is to give Maine people access to important clinical trials like this one that gives them access to potential treatments,” said MMC’s Chief Academic Officer Doug Sawyer, M.D. “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.”
Currently, MMC is the only hospital enrolling patients in this study in the state of Maine.