Atrium Health opens its first clinical trial for COVID-19

Atrium Health Opens its First Clinical Trial for COVID-19
Atrium Health Opens its First Clinical Trial for COVID-19(Atrium Health)
Updated: Apr. 27, 2020 at 2:19 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The first clinical trial for patients with COVID-19) is officially open at Atrium Health.

The international trial, coordinated locally by Levine Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Division, was launched in less than two weeks,

“We know the fast pace in which everything is moving right now, and we appreciate the tremendous level of collaboration this entailed,” said Phil Butera, Assistant Vice President, Clinical Trials, at Levine Cancer Institute. “We worked tirelessly to make this happen so we can bring a hopeful opportunity to patients who are in need of treatment options, as so much is not known about this virus.”

Referred to as the XPORT trial, Dr. Zainab Shahid and her team are aiming to enroll one to two patients a week with a goal of identifying the best treatment option for patients, as there are no proven therapies at this time.

Up until a few days ago, it was believed that hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine could be a potential option to treat patients with coronavirus, but now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions against the use of those therapies outside of the hospital setting due to risk of heart rhythm problems.

“The study drug appears to offer a promising treatment option; we are excited to offer this trial to our patients,” said Dr. Shahid, Medical Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Infectious Diseases at Levine Cancer Institute who is serving as Principal Investigator of the trial. "Only with the help of clinical trials can we find treatment answers for COVID-19.”

The trial will be available to patients at Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center, Atrium Health Cabarrus, Atrium Health Pineville and Atrium Health University City.

Patients enrolled in the trial will take a pill every other day, and they can even partake in the trial while healing at home.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines back up Atrium Health’s evidence-based approach to the treatment of SAR-COV-2, including offering clinical trials to its patients, and XPORT is one of them.

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