UR begins testing of anti-viral drug

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The University of Rochester Medical Center has begun a National Institutes of Health sponsored clinical trial of remdesivir, an anti-viral drug hoped to prove effective and safe for humans against the COVID-19 virus.

As previously reported by the Rochester Beacon, remdesivir is an investigational broad-spectrum anti-viral agent that has previously been tested against the Ebola virus and the coronaviruses that cause Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. URMC researchers had been gearing up to start a remdesivir trial as soon as COVID-19 cases reached Rochester. 

Cousins to COVID-19, SARS and MERS were responsible for previous pandemics that proved to be less deadly. Ebola spread in parts of Africa with devastating consequences but did not manage to establish itself in the United States. 

URMC’s remdesivir clinical trial is being led by Anne Falsey M.D. and Angela Branche M.D. Officials say it could be expanded to include other drugs that might prove effective against COVID-19.

Will Astor is Rochester Beacon senior writer. All Rochester Beacon coronavirus articles are collected here.

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