CORONAVIRUS UTAH

U Health, Intermountain Healthcare Begins COVID-19 Clinical Trials

Apr 8, 2020, 6:47 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2022, 11:11 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Doctors from Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health have started enrolling patients in two COVID-19 clinical trials to test the effectiveness and safety of controversial drugs that recently came up in a coronavirus briefing with the President.

Doctors leading the trials said they want to come up with answers about the two drugs quickly because lives are on the line. They want to find out if the two drugs can relieve severe symptoms from COVID-19, and maybe even slow down the spread.

“The goal of this trial is to make people better,“ said Dr. Samuel Brown, principal investigator of one of the studies, and a critical care researcher at Intermountain Healthcare.

When the two drugs — hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin — came up for discussion nationally, local researchers wanted to be able to provide answers.

“We heard the cry of distress from the community. We realize the urgency of the pandemic,” said Dr. Brown.

He said typically it would take a year to set up these trials, but these collaborative trials came together in two weeks.

“We want to test this in a pandemic. We want to know if it works. We want to get this out,” said Dr. Raj Srivastava, principal investigator of the outpatient trail, and assistant video president of research at Intermountain Healthcare. “These are our loved ones, just like your loved ones, so we’re going to work towards doing it.”

In two parallel trials, they want to find out how effective hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin are in reducing the severity of symptoms for those suffering from COVID-19, and whether the drugs can save lives. The other trial will explore whether the drugs can help people stay out of the hospital, help decrease viral shedding, and decrease transmission of the virus in a household.

The study was designed with three motivations:

“To find important answers. The other, was to provide access to these drugs. And, the third wants to do it in a safe way,” said Dr. Brandon Webb, principal investigator of the outpatient trial, and an infectious diseases physician at Intermountain Healthcare.

The two drugs are FDA-approved, used to treat malaria and pneumonia.

“These two medications are very, very commonly prescribed,” said Dr. Webb. “So we have a good understanding of their safety profile.”

Doctors said they plan to enroll nearly 2,300 patients who are COVID-19 positive, or suspected of being positive. Those people will be contacted shortly after their tests to find out if they are willing to enroll.

“We should have early results within the next 10 to 12 weeks, which is as Raj mentioned, as fast as possible,” said Dr. Rachel Hess, principal investigator of the outpatient trial, and co-director for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Utah.

“So, that we can get real information in a safe way about what might help in COVID for patients who are COVID positive, or have a test pending and are very likely have COVID,” said Dr. Brown.

The researchers said there will not be a shortage of the drugs for those who are already taking those prescriptions during the trials.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
7 days ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
18 days ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
25 days ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters targeting newest variants

U.S. clears updated COVID-19 boosters targeting the newest omicron strain; shots could begin within days.
1 month ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Updated COVID-19 boosters likely available next month as ‘twindemic’ fears emerge

Concerns about a potential surge in COVID-19 and the flu at the same time this fall are emerging again. Each of the last two years, warnings about a so-called “twindemic” did not materialize, but this year could be different.
1 month ago
FILE: Davis School District....
Mike Anderson

Davis School District adds resources to handle COVID-19

The Davis School District is shifting their approach to COVID, putting more decisions in the hands of parents while getting more funds to help monitor the virus.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
U Health, Intermountain Healthcare Begins COVID-19 Clinical Trials