HOUSTON – The effectiveness of remdesivir in the treatment of coronavirus is among 35 COVID-related research projects that are being conducted at Harris Health System hospitals, according to officials.
According to a press release issued by hospital leaders, the studies are being conducted in conjunction with researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
“Harris Health has always valued its partnership with its two world-class medical schools,” said Dr. Ann Barnes, chief medical officer at Harris Health. “We all share a dedication to the patients we serve and the COVID pandemic has highlighted the extraordinary work we can accomplish as a team.”
Remdesivir, a drug used to treat ebola, has been on the radar of medical professionals since the beginning of the pandemic. While it is being widely used, it is still an experimental treatment. Baylor doctors and researchers are examining how changes in dosage and how its combination with other drugs affect the effectiveness.
At Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, doctors and researchers are also testing the use of leronlimab, an anti-inflammatory medication. The study measures the drug’s effectiveness in helping patients survive and reduce the severity of complications.
“So few treatment options exist for this novel virus, and we as medical researchers feel it’s our duty to continue to search for treatments to improve the health outcomes for people with COVID-19,” said Dr. Jordan E. Lake, who led the leronlimab study at LBJ Hospital and an associate professor of infectious diseases at McGovern Medical School.
Researchers at LBJ Hospital are also exploring the use of canakinumab, an anti-inflammatory drug for arthritis, to help treat a COVID-19 condition associated with high fever and multiple organ failure. Researchers hope the drug decreases the condition and keep patients off ventilators.
UTHealth researchers are examining if monoclonal antibodies can help treat COVID-19 patients and prevent people who live with a coronavirus patient from getting infected.