Clinical Trail To Treat Severe COVID19 Symptoms Underway at Atrium Health

CHARLOTTE, NC – Some hope for those who may experience severe COVID19 symptoms. A new clinical trial that’s being carried out in 15 countries around the world is now being done at Atrium Health. And doctors say it’s showing some promise. 

It’s so much hope for me,” said Dr. Zainab Shahid with Atrium Health. 

She’s part of the team leading the clinical trial process at Atrium Health. 

“So what we’re trying to do here is decrease the burden of illness. Decrease the morbidity and mortality for the patients,” said Shahid. 

Shahid has been working on the front lines with hospitalized COVID patients since March. 

“As a person who has cared for these patients, it’s a feeling of immense hopelessness when you see…them get so so sick,” said Shahid. 

But a new clinical trial is showing promise. Selinexor, a drug commonly used to treat cancer patients with multiple myeloma has proven successful in petri dish and animal tests. 

“It showed that it killed the virus,” said Shahid. 

Now Atrium Health hopes to sign up one to two people a week to take part in the trial, which has about 1000 people registered worldwide. 

“Patients are closely monitored. Every day we call them if they are not in the hospital. While they are here, we see them every day making sure everything is going,” said Shahid.

Patients will take a pill every other day for two weeks. The main side effect is stomach pains. 

Doctors say only about 20 percent of people who get covid19 would have serious enough symptoms for the drug.  The hope is it will help them survive and recover. 

“We catch them early. Get them treated. And not get to a point where they need to be incubated,” said Shahid.

Swift movement from the medical community to help those suffering serious symptoms. 

“To be able to offer a treatment option or hope for a treatment option, is an amazing feeling,” said Shahid.

Doctors say it’ll take a few months before this drug could become standard treatment and widely available to the public.