SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — The White House Wednesday announced a big breakthrough in the fight against the novel coronavirus, and hospitals and patients in Southern California have made a major contribution.
The drug is called Remdesivir, and trials all across SoCal have showed it can help infected people recover faster and could reduce the number of people who die as a result of the disease.
Providence St. John's in Santa Monica helped with the study, as did a dozen other hospital, that report the drug Remdesivir has showed so much promise that the Food and Drug Administration is reportedly moving to authorize emergency use of the drug in some situations.
"The trial went phenomenally well for us," Dr. Alpesh Amin, who chairs the department of medicine at UC Irvine.
Doctors at UCI were among the first to test the drug, and while Amin said they are still in the early days of the study, there was reason to be optimistic.
"It's got anti-viral properties," Amin said. "It basically attacks the genome of the virus, where the virus replicates on itself, so it attacks that, and it's kind of like a seek and destroy mission. It finds the right target on the virus, and goes in and attacks it and kills it."
At the White House Wednesday, the nation's top doctor leading the fight against COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said there was "clear evidence" that the experimental drug was showing results in slowing the virus' progression.
"Remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery," he said. "What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus."
Marcial Reyes, an emergency room charge nurse at Kaiser Fontana, is recovering from COVID-19 after spending a month in the hospital. He was treated with Remdesivir.
"I had constant fever all throughout my stay, and on the second day or third day that they gave it to me, my fever went away," he said.
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