Clinical trials underway for potential COVID-19 prevention pill

Clinical trials for COVID-19 prevention pill underway in Tucson
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 3:34 PM CDT
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD/Gray News) – Researchers in Arizona are studying to determine if a pill could potentially stop you from getting COVID-19.

Dr. Anita Kohli, the director of clinical research at Arizona Clinical Trials, told KOLD four trials are underway to test the new drug.

Kohli said a COVID-19 anti-viral pill would be easily accessible and a gamechanger.

“These medicines would be easy to store, easy to distribute, things you could pick up from your local pharmacy as opposed to IV medicines, subcutaneous injections, so just much easier,” Kohli said.

Kohli explained the study is focused on unvaccinated patients who have COVID or who have been exposed to the virus.

Researchers are looking into whether antiviral medications can help those patients get better more quickly and keep them out of the hospital.

Kohli said some of the molnupiravir antibody treatments have been given emergency use authorization for COVID, so they are already available in some emergency rooms.

“Those have already shown reducing rate of symptoms, hospitalization and death but that’s only available by IV or subcutaneously,” Kohli explained.

The clinical research director hopes the trial will only last about nine months but says only time will tell.

“Some of the molnupiravir antibodies that were studied last summer, already had emergency use authorization by the spring. So, in nine months, we went from the early stages of the trials to emergency use,” Kohli said. “That essentially never happens in emergency medicine, so we’re hoping this will be as quick as that was.”

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