UNMC looking for participants in COVID-19 pill clinical trial

Can a pill prevent the more serious outcomes of COVID-19? That’s what an upcoming University of Nebraska Medical Center trial is seeking to find out.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Can a pill prevent the more serious outcomes of COVID-19?

That’s what an upcoming University of Nebraska Medical Center trial is seeking to find out.

“With this trial, we are looking to see if people who are exposed to COVID-19, and are at high risk to progress towards symptomatic infection, we can prevent this infection, hospitalization and death by giving the monotherapy or drug,” UNMC Dr. Diana Florescu, who is running the trial, said.

For this trial, UNMC is looking for 1300 participants who fall under the following categories:

-Over the age of 19

-Live with someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19

-Have never had COVID-19

-Have never received a COVID-19 vaccine

“The reason for not including patients who have COVID and patients who receive the vaccine is that these patients already have an immunity and might bias the results of the trial,” Florescu explained.

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Florescu maintains that the vaccine and these pills play different roles in the fight against COVID-19.

“The pill does not replace the vaccine,” she said.  “The pill works against the virus, so once we get exposed or we get infected, [it] kills the virus, while the vaccine acts on the immune system…so in case we get exposed to COVID-19, we have total or partial immunity, and we can respond and fight back with our own immune system.”

This is an international study, meaning there will be participants in other countries with less access to vaccine.

Still, Florescu is encouraging interested Nebraskans to participate.

“We are looking at bringing new treatments, new medications early, to help our community, so people in the community have early access to these medications,” she said.

Florescu is hopeful that at least ten Nebraskans are able to participate. The trial is expected to take a month.

If you’re interested in enrolling, you can email the research team at FlorescuResearchTeam@unmc.edu. You can also call 402.836.9265 or 402.559.8929.

Categories: Coronavirus, Lancaster, Nebraska News