How Can I Join A Covid-19 Clinical Trial?
The Coronavirus crisis that caught many governments unprepared to deal with a pandemic is far from over yet. Those of us who have the option are doing the responsible thing by staying at home to limit the risk of transmission and a further increase in the number of cases. Still, too many people can’t afford to make this choice as their job cannot be done remotely. And some don’t have a home where they can wait for the worst to pass.
We are never more aware of our human frailty than in times of hardship so out of our control. In the absence of a vaccine or a reliable treatment, the most vulnerable members of society rely on herd immunity and collective accountability. We should never forget that the aim of safety measures is to minimize the risk to the elderly and those with compromised immunity.
In times like this, we at FindMeCure are reminded of that famous quote by Fred Rogers:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
Let’s become the people who are helping. Don’t hoard necessities when you go shopping for groceries. Call your grandmother instead of going to her house. If you know that someone is immunocompromised, taking immunosuppressive drugs or has underlying health issues – keep your distance for the time being.
Tip extra for deliveries – and yes, opt for delivery instead of eating out. Be kind to the cashiers even if you had to wait a long line – they can’t work from home and are exposed to the risk every day.
To give you all some hope, today on the blog we’re going to talk about what is currently in clinical trials for Coronavirus. We all need something positive to look forward to – after all, it’s thanks to medical research that doctors now can treat illnesses previously plaguing societies. With deliberate efforts, smallpox became the first (and so far the only one) infectious disease to be eradicated worldwide. It’s incredible what we can achieve when we trust scientists and medical professionals and take our own share of responsibility.
The bad news is that according to recent reports, the virus has mutated into two strains – one of which more ‘aggressive’. This can make it harder for researchers to develop a vaccine as it was previously thought that we have some time before the Coronavirus mutates. It is unlikely that a vaccine will be ready by the beginning of next year and until one is widely available, the recommendations of social distancing will be in full force.
We’re witnessing the fastest development of a vaccine in history – where it used to take up to five years of pre-trials development and two years on average of human trials, prognosis now states that a vaccine will be ready for testing by May. Then why will it take so long before it’s widely available? The main hurdle lies in manufacturing and distribution. And of course, as is usually the case, the first people to receive the vaccine are going to be healthcare professionals and vulnerable populations. So it’s going to take some time before large-scale vaccination efforts take place.
What health professionals are counting on right now is the repurposing of drugs used to treat other diseases. We are, in fact, far closer to having treatment than we are to a vaccine. We mentioned last week the drug remdesivir which is already in clinical trials and so far appears to be the most promising of the treatments being repurposed. Other drugs include the anti-HIV Lopinavir and Ritonavir sold under the name Kaletra. Trials for these drugs are running in China with some good reports already.
The reason we’re closer to having a treatment is that the safety and tolerability of the drugs being repurposed for Coronavirus have already been proven in previous clinical trials. The question that remains is how effective they are in this particular situation. Researchers don’t test blindly of course – they can to a degree predict the efficacy of the treatments, however, we are awaiting the results from the clinical trials before we can say with certainty that Covid-19 can be successfully treated.
I want to join a Covid-19 trial, how do I do that?
If you want to become part of the first trials already testing repurposed treatments, the first thing you should know is that those treatments now under investigation have already been through the whole process of development – they are safe. It has been proven.
To see relevant trials near you, go to our search page and under “What is your condition” type Covid-19. If you type Coronavirus in the search box you will get some results about other viruses from the Corona family like Mers and Sars, which won’t be relevant to your search.
Then, under “Preferred location” type your city and state – keep in mind that even if you can arrange a trip to the research centre where the trial is taking place, travel is not advised. The locations where trials are being conducted right now include the United States, China, France, Republic of Korea, Singapore. For example, the repurposed drug remdesivir is being tested in China, the US, Republic of Korea and Singapore.
If there are relevant trials near you, open the page of the trial and carefully review the information starting with the Purpose of the trial, then Provided treatments. If you are interested in the trial, see if you are eligible to apply by clicking on the View full eligibility button at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind that the inclusion criteria for the remdesivir trial state that you need to have the acute disease caused by the virus and be hospitalized with fever prior to getting assigned to either the investigational drug group or the group that receives standard treatment.
If you are eligible for a trial you are interested in, click on the All locations button and make sure that the status of the trial is ‘recruiting’ (you’ll see it in green under every location). If the trial is recruiting, click on the Put me in touch button next to your location to get connected to the team in charge of the study. They will be able to answer all of your questions about the trial and your participation in it.
The FindMeCure team is sending you wishes of health and perseverance in these trying times.