Today the nation’s coronavirus task force announced positive clinical trial results for remdesivir, a treatment that originated in the labs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The breakthrough treatment diminished the time to recovery from COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus. Animal testing at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health set the stage for clinical trials to begin this spring as the virus spread across the globe.
“This is a game changer for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 and provides hope to many infected,” says Ralph Baric, an epidemiologist in the UNC Gillings School of Public Health that led lab testing of the broad-spectrum antiviral drug.
Six years ago, the UNC-Chapel Hill lab partnered with the biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc. Their goal was testing the company’s antiviral drugs to curb emerging viral diseases, according to Tim Sheahan, a virologist in Baric’s lab.
Fast forward to today and the intravenous drug remdesivir could provide relief during a global pandemic that has taken the lives of nearly 60,000 Americans and sickened more than 1 million in the United States.
Baric and Sheahan are available for remote interviews. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an interview.