National Clinical Covid-19 Drug Trial led by Chattanooga native

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – Since the discovery of the coronavirus in the United States this year, teams of doctors and scientists have been hard at work searching for a treatment

A clinical trial out of San Diego is being conducted by a native of Chattanooga, Dr. Davey Smith. The trial is evaluating whether two drugs, Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin- when used in combination, can prevent hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19.

According to Dr. Smith, Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria and the antibiotic azithromycin is most often used for sinus infections or strep. 

“Both of these potentially have an effect on the coronavirus. It messes up its life cycle and how the virus can get into a cell. There is some evidence that it might work but it really hasn’t been tested in a very rigorous way,” says Davey Smith, National Lead for Clinical Trial. 

Dr. Smith is leading this nationwide clinical testing and says the best way to determine if the treatment really works is to conduct a very widespread extensive trial.

”It needs to be on a trial. It needs to be randomized and it needs to be blinded. It needs to have a control on it. That’s what we call a placebo, which is basically sugar pills. People won’t know which one they are getting, the investigators don’t know which one they are getting. Only the statisticians who are looking at the date in an unblinded way will know. This is very rigorous but it’s the best way to see if the treatment works or not,” says Smith. 

The trial consists of 2,000 adults at 31 sites spread  across the united states and participants of the trial must have active covid-19. 

The participants will receive the medications to take orally at home,  will have to keep a record of their symptoms and any major events resulting, such as hospitalization.

Dr. Davey Smith, who grew up in Hamilton County and graduated from UTC says it is an honor to be a part of this team- a team that has committed to working as long and hard as it takes to find the right cure.

 “Once we have a treatment, whether it’s this one or something else; we put that out into the clinic. Doctors would be using it in a way we know that would work. Then, My job is to go find the next version that would work even better. We would test the treatment that we know works maybe a little bit to a new treatment that might work even better. So, I think the trials have to continue till we get a better cure, a better cure, a better cure. Then, hopefully we will do the same thing with vaccines,” says Smith. 

 For more information about the trial click here

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Health, Local News, Regional News

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