Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are testing new and old drugs that may be able to help mild to moderate cases of the COVID-19.
The goal is to find treatments that can be given to patients before their illness becomes severe and they require hospitalizations.
UT Southwestern has opened an outpatient COVID trial unit next to a COVID drive-through testing site on campus.
Patients undergoing COVID testing will be given fliers that provide information about the out-patient clinical trial opportunities.
"What we want to do is get to those patients who may need those medications early on, which is usually within the first week of symptoms and definitely within the first few days after they have a positive diagnosis of COVID," said UT Southwestern Associate Dean of Clinical Research Dr. Nancy Rollins.
Among the trials is one that evaluates colchicine, which is a drug used in gout, to see if this drug will decrease the incidence of the hyperimmune reaction seen in some COVID patients.
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This drug is given in a pill form and no blood draws or nasal swabs are needed.
Interested participants must be at least 40 yrs of age, with one risk factor such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity; have symptoms of COVID for one week or less, and have had a positive nasal swab within the past 48 hours.
Another trial gives COVID patients monoclonal antibodies, similar to those found in plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID.
The trial involves a single intravenous infusion of the medicine followed by nasal swabs over the next two weeks to see if this drug helps clear the virus.
Participants must have been sick for less than one week and have had a positive nasal swab within the past 72 hours.
Remdesivir is an anti-viral previously given only to hospitalized patients, which has been shown to shorten the duration of time patients have COVID.
This trial involves intravenous infusions given to out-patients with COVID symptoms.
Participants must be at least 60 yrs of age or between 18 and 60 years old with one or more risk factors such as chronic lung disease, hypertension, cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, immunocompromised, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, current cancer, or sickle cell disease.
Patients must be sick for seven or fewer days and are within four days of a positive nasal swab
Favipiravir is an antiviral drug taken orally. Participants must have been sick for less than one week and have had a positive nasal swab within the past 72 hours. Repeated nasal swabs are required along with a blood test at the beginning and end of the trial.
Researchers need hundreds of participants from all backgrounds.
"Drugs don't just develop themselves and even though we have a good idea of how a drug will work, until we know that it works in people with different health conditions, different ages, different demographics, we don't know if it really works," said Rollins.
Those interested in participating in these COVID trials can call UT Southwestern at (214) 648-7494.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.