The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been selected as a site for clinical trials of a drug that could potentially treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases chose UAB as one of 75 sites around the world, and enrollment in what is phase three of the clinical trials began immediately, according to UAB News.
There are currently no treatments for the virus, but scientists across the globe are rushing to try to develop one.
Paul Goepfert, M.D., professor of medicine in the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases, will serve as UAB’s principal investigator for this study.
“Remdesivir worked well in the test tube and animal models against a close relative of COVID-19,” Goepfert said in a statement. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to rapidly determine whether this drug will help treat hospitalized patients with COVID-19 here at UAB.”
“COVID-19 is rapidly spreading throughout the world, and the U.S. now has the third-highest number of cases in the world, with more than 50,000 patients,” Goepfert said, “Although the first case of COVID-19 in Alabama was diagnosed just over a week ago, we now have more than 200 cases in our state.”
There were 466 confirmed COVID-19 cases across Alabama as of Thursday morning. Alabama’s first death from the virus was confirmed Wednesday in Jackson County.
APR reported on Wednesday that there were more than 100 people hospitalized statewide with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or illness the hospital highly suspects as being COVID-19.
At UAB, 60 total COVID-19 patients were hospitalized as of Wednesday morning. More than half of those were on ventilators.