MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Medical researchers at the University of Minnesota are in the fast lane testing existing drugs that could help people who are exposed or get infected with the COVID-19 virus.
When the crisis began, staff at the medical school basically dropped everything and joined other researchers from around the world to test what could work.
Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Tim Schacker said the medicines show potential, but it will take time to know for sure. He did not put a timeline on the process because of all the different variables associated with clinical trials.
They are testing Hydroxychloroquine, which is used to prevent or treat malaria. It’s for people who have been exposed to someone with a known infection (COVID-19). The hope is the drug can prevent someone from getting infected.
Schacker said there has a been a big response to the call for volunteers on the study, however researchers are currently looking for more willing participants.
Losartan is a widely used blood pressure medication.
“It is for the people that test positive for the virus, they might be in the hospital with mild disease or they might be at home,” Schacker said. “The study we are doing is to prevent people from getting sicker.”
The third study involves a drug called Remdesivir. It would be used for patients who are critically ill from the coronavirus. The drug, which was an experimental drug for the treatment of Ebola, could alter the course of the infection.
“We don’t know if these drugs work or don’t. The only way we are going to find out is with a randomized clinical trial,” Schacker said.