VCU Health joins national trial testing three new drugs against COVID-19


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Virginia Commonwealth University Health volunteers will enroll in a new clinical trial that tests three new drugs, called ‘immune modulator’ drugs, on those hospitalized with COVID-19.

Health officials explain the drugs focus on the ‘cytokine storm’ which occurs when the body begins to attack itself rather than the virus.

Health experts hope the drugs help restore the immune system.

“The cytokine storm can lead to respiratory distress, organ failure and other life-threatening complications, so a drug that counteracts these symptoms could reduce fatalities, shorten hospital stays and lessen the need for ventilators,” trial lead Arun Sanyal, M.D., a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the VCU School of Medicine said.

The three new study drugs being studied, called infliximab, abatacept and cenicriviroc, will be added to remdesivir, a treatment for COVID-19 that’s been approved by the FDA. All participants will receive remdesivir, and the trial will test whether adding one of the new study drugs is effective for treatment of the virus.

The National Institutes of Health launched the trial back in October. To learn more about VCU clinical trials, click here.

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