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Positive signs in COVID-19 clinical trial led by Roswell Park

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Posted at 7:11 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 19:11:56-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — More COVID-19 patients are participating in the Roswell Park-led clinical trial, and the doctor leading the effort says he is cautiously optimistic about the efforts.

The trial, which began last Thursday with a single patient, is now underway in four hospitals across Western New York: Roswell Park, ECMC, Buffalo General, and Millard Fillmore.

All of the teams working on the clinical trial across the hospitals operate "hand-in-glove," according to Dr. Igor Puzanov, the Early Phase Clinical Trials Program Director and Chief of Melanoma at Roswell Park.

The trial gives different doses of the anti-inflammatory agent sarilumab, commonly known as Kevzara, to COVID-19 patients who are suffering severe respiratory symptoms.

"It's a randomized trial. Two patients will get a higher dose of the drug sarilumab, two patients will get a middle dose of sarilumab, and one patient gets a placebo," Puzanov told 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Ashley Rowe.

The local trial is part of a national study, which follows successful efforts with the drug in Italy and China.

Puzanov notes it is too early to tell whether the trial will be deemed successful.