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Rutgers leads therapeutic clinical trial for coronavirus treatment

The trial, Triple Combination Antiviral Coronavirus Therapy (TriACT), is testing a treatment that consists of nitazoxanide, ribavirin and hydroxychloroquine, which is a combination of drugs used to treat other infections and has been found to be highly effective at stopping viral replication. – Photo by Shutterstock

Rutgers researchers are examining a potential treatment via clinical trial for asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic individuals infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to an article from Rutgers Today. 

The trial, Triple Combination Antiviral Coronavirus Therapy (TriACT), is being carried out alongside the global health company Synavir Corporation to test the effectiveness of their treatment in reducing the amount of COVID-19 virus and the likelihood of sickness for participants, according to the article.

The treatment consists of nitazoxanide, ribavirin and hydroxychloroquine, a combination of drugs typically used to treat other infections that has been demonstrated in experimental studies to be highly effective at halting viral replication, according to the article.

The trial will examine the rate at which viral load decreases among 70 participants who have been given either the drug combination or a placebo over a period of 10 days, according to the article.

Researchers will then compare the amount of people who are asymptomatic or symptomatic, the development and progression of symptom severity, side effects of the treatment and placebo, whether the initial viral load anticipates response to treatment and new infections in household members, according to the article.

“Medications for outpatients with COVID-19 that shorten the duration of the illness, prevent the need for hospitalization and, perhaps most importantly, prevent spread of the disease to others are a critical need that are currently missing in therapeutics,” said principal investigator Jeffrey Carson, a Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and provost at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, according to the article.

The design of the trial allows participants to take part largely from the safety of their homes, only requiring them to go to the clinic three times for status checks, according to the article. Participants will receive a kit containing the study medicine, swabbing equipment and other necessary materials.

The researchers are looking for referrals from doctors taking care of outpatients who have tested positive for COVID-19 within seven days, according to the article. In order to be eligible, these patients must have been diagnosed in the previous six days, ideally within the last two days.

The TriAct study has a website where those looking to get involved may find more information.


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