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UT Health San Antonio to test investigational drug for COVID-19 at University Hospital

Brook Army Medical Center will also be a testing site for the drug

Photo by Associated Press, Illustration by Henry Keller
Photo by Associated Press, Illustration by Henry Keller (KSAT, AP)

SAN ANTONIO – UT Health San Antonio is launching a treatment study that may be able to treat the novel coronavirus.

Health officials announced Monday that UTHSA is among some of the first in the nation to test an investigational drug that was created to treat the virus.

The drug, called remdesivir, is for critically-ill patients at University Hospital that are 18 and older and is not yet available to the public.

The treatment study aims to have 440 patients participate worldwide and there are currently 75 testing sites for the drug across the nation, according to health officials.

Two of these testing sites are in San Antonio - one at UTHSA and one at the Brook Army Medical Center, officials say.

Houston and Galveston also have study sites for the drug, UTHSA says.

“The study will evolve as we learn which agents work best. If remdesivir is safe and effective, then it will become the standard of care for the trial and new investigational drugs will be studied. There will be periodic monitoring points that will allow us to stop treatment with drugs that aren’t as effective and start testing new therapies as they are developed,” Dr. Thomas Patterson said in a statement.

Patterson, M.D., professor in the Long School of Medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at The University of Texas Health Science Center, is leading the treatment study at UTHSA.

Officials say University Hospital received its first COVID-19 patient on March 26.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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