LEBANON, NH – As emergency departments across the country begin surging with COVID-19 patients, a behind-the-scenes group at Dartmouth-Hitchcock is surging for science. In what can typically take 60 days or more, a team of research operations leads and investigators have opened two, Phase 3 therapeutic studies of a potential treatment for COVID-19 in a remarkable six days.
Remdesivir (GS-5734™), is an anti-viral medicine identified by the World Health Organization as being the most promising agent against COVID-19 disease. Originally used during the West African Ebola virus from 2013-16, Remdesivir was also identified as showing promise against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Dartmouth-Hitchcock is now one of approximately 97 clinical sites worldwide actively participating in the trials of Remdesivir, evaluating the effectiveness in patients with moderate and severe COVID-19 disease. There are two trials occurring at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center: the first trial is for those with moderate symptoms of COVID-19, and the second trial is for those with severe advanced symptoms, both intended to prevent progression of the disease.
“As part of our rapid implementation, approximately 25 nurses underwent fit testing for personal protective equipment (PPE) to participate in managing the trial on inpatient units, where the drug will be administered intravenously,” said principal investigator Richard Zuckerman, MD, MPH, of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Section of Infectious Disease and International Health. “It has been a profound effort and as a part of our rapid implementation, our research nurses are working closely with all of the wonderful DHMC staff taking care of these patients to help administer this promising investigational therapy in addition to their routine care.”
These Phase 3 studies will gather information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages as well as using the drug in combination with other drugs.
“COVID related research is a top priority for our organization,” said Leigh Burgess, vice president of D-H’s Research Operations. “As an academic medical center we have the tools and the teams to address this evolving situation. Special acknowledgement and thanks to the teams that worked together to open this study quickly and offer these important options for our patients.”
Eligible study participants are identified by meeting eligibility criteria upon being admitted or screening of in-house patients who test positive for the virus and meet the eligibility criteria. More information on the eligibility criteria and the clinical trial can be found at here.