Bar­won Health in COVID drug trial

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - TA­MARA MCDON­ALD

BAR­WON Health has joined a na­tion­wide clin­i­cal trial to test a drug that could help pro­tect high-risk health­care staff from COVID-19

The four-month pre­ven­tive COVID SHIELD trial in­vites doc­tors, nurses and al­lied health­care work­ers from emer­gency de­part­ments, in­ten­sive care units, COVID-19 hospi­tal wards and res­pi­ra­tory clin­ics to take low doses of hy­drox­y­chloro­quine.

There are 16 Aus­tralian sites en­rolling up to 2250 test sub­jects for the trial, led by the Wal­ter and El­iza Hall In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Re­search in Mel­bourne.

Bar­won Health in­fec­tious dis­eases spe­cial­ist Daniel O’Brien said there was ex­per­i­men­tal ev­i­dence show­ing the drug could kill the virus, which had mo­ti­vated the re­search to test whether it was an ef­fec­tive preven­tion.

“This hasn’t been tri­alled any­where in this par­tic­u­lar man­ner, so we are among the first to try it,” Dr O’Brien said.

“The low dose of hy­drox­y­chloro­quine is the same as what has been used in treat­ment for rheuma­toid arthri­tis for years, so we know it is safe to use this way.

“We’ve had at least 25 peo­ple in­ter­ested in en­rolling so far, with work un­der way to open up the cri­te­ria to more health­care works in­clud­ing paramedics and den­tists to achieve more com­pre­hen­sive re­sults.

“An added ben­e­fit is that about 80 per cent of health­care work­ers pick up the in­fec­tion in the com­mu­nity and not at work, thus they may get added pro­tec­tion out­side of work when they aren’t wear­ing PPE and could be ex­posed to the virus.”

Bar­won Health staff will be among the first to take part in a hy­drox­y­chloro­quine trial.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.