A clinical trial to verify the effectiveness of a new drug against COVID-19

The clinical trial, in which UPF and IMIM participate with the pharma ESTEVE, will evaluate the antiviral capacity of a compound in patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19.

A drug capable of reducing the viral load of patients could reduce the complications of COVID-19. Image by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

As a result of a collaboration between different public and private entities, such as the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University (DCEXS-UPF), the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the ESTEVE pharma company, a clinical trial will evaluate the antiviral capacity of compound E-52862 for the early treatment of patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19.

The drug, developed by ESTEVE, acts on the sigma-1 receptor, a protein that is involved in the virus multiplication, according to data from recently published experimental studies.

“Drugs that are active against this receptor could be active against the virus that causes COVID-19, reducing its viral load and preventing clinical deterioration.”
Rafael Maldonado (DCEXS-UPF), co-researcher of the study.

Researchers will carry out the Phase 2 of this clinical trial in patients of Hospital del Mar with mild symptoms and infection confirmed by PCR. A group will receive the compound for 14 days, and another group will receive a placebo. Both groups will be monitored regarind the viral load and the evolution of symptoms.

If a decrease in viral load is found after administration of the drug, progress could be made in preventing complications derived from COVID-19.

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