EL CENTRO, CA – June 18, 2020 - ECRMC has announced participation
in a clinical trial using tocilizumab, brand name Actemra, to treat COVID
19 positive pneumonia patients.
This trial will study the drug tocilizumab and evaluate its safety and
efficacy in the treatment of patients with severe COVID 19 pneumonia.
Tocilizumab is an approved treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other
inflammatory disorders. It may also help treat patients who have developed
or are at risk of developing serio us lung damage from COVID 19 infections.
“There are no specific therapies for COVID 19 at this time, but several
are being investigated and are in clinical trials, said Jorge F. Robles,
MD, Principal Investigator and Chair of Outpatient Clinics at ECRMC. Tocilizumab
is one of the therapies bringing hope for treating this aggressive viral
infection. We are very happy to participate in this trial and optimistic
about its benefits to our patients at ECRMC.”
This Phase III clinical trial was approved by the US Food Drug Administration
early spring. While there are several independent clinical trials on the
efficacy and safety of tocilizumab for COVID 19 patients, this new trial
will be a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial.
A double blind and placebo controlled clinical study is one in which neither
the participant nor the researcher knows who is getting the drug treatment
and who is getting the p lacebo in a controlled group.
Participants must be over 18 and hospitalized with a diagnose s of COVID
19 pneumonia and evidence of impaired gas exchange. Patients will receive
one intravenous infusion of either tocilizumab or the placebo. A second
infusion may be given if clinical symptoms worsen or improve. Funding
and resources for the trial are provided by the pharmaceutical company
Genetech/Roche, which makes Actemra.
Patient participants will be followed for 60 days post randomization and
an interim analysis will be conducted for early evidence of efficacy.
Up to 60 ECRMC patients will participate in this study.
It is important to note that these medical trials will be conducted by
professionals in a controlled environment. The medications will be administered
to participants by physicians who will monitor and evaluate the patients
to ensure their safety.
About El Centro Regional Medical Center
El Centro Regional Medical Center is an acute-care medical center, serving
the health care needs of the Imperial Valley since 1956. In addition to
a 161-bed hospital facility, ECRMC also owns and operates a state-of-the-art
Medical Office Building housing the Oncology & Hematology Center,
Wound Healing Center, Outpatient Imaging services, as well as numerous
specialty clinics. Off-campus facilities include two outpatient clinics
in El Centro and Calexico and a Community Education Center located at
the Imperial Valley Mall. ECRMC provides comprehensive healthcare services
for residents seeking enhanced well-being and improved quality of life.
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