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County hospital to participate in development of drug therapy to combat COVID

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2
Cropped NIAID / CC BY 2.0
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

Clinical tests to gauge the effectiveness of oral therapies intended to reduce the severity and length of coronavirus infections will be conducted at the Riverside University Health System's Moreno Valley facilities, it was announced today.

Staff at RUHS' Comparative Effectiveness & Clinical Outcomes Research Center will join researchers from Louisiana State University and the Calgary, Alberta-based biotechnology firm Skymount Medical for a series of studies to determine the impacts and results of applying an FDA-approved cancer medication and an already-approved anti-parasitic pill in treating COVID-19 patients, according to RUHS.

Testing has been done on animals, and Skymount Medical's artificial intelligence analyses have revealed up to 97% effectiveness in utilizing the two-drug therapy, officials said.

"Unfortunately, California has its fair share of COVID-19 cases," said Dr. Bruce Weng, Riverside University Medical Center Infectious Disease specialist. "The one silver lining in this is that the sample size at our (Moreno Valley) hospital is substantial enough to produce valuable data when evaluating the safety and efficacy of this drug combination.

"This is a pilot study and 100% voluntary. The safety of our patients is paramount, and we will stay in constant contact with those choosing to participate to ensure their health and well-being," he said.

According to the researchers, the studies will entail double-blind interventions in outpatient settings, relying on placebos to measure the strength and value of the two-drug combo therapy.

The goal will be to ensure the therapy can both reduce the duration of SARS-CoV-2 symptoms and prevent long-term consequences for those who are most vulnerable.

Similar studies are underway in Europe, according to RUHS.

City News Service

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