Clinical Trial on Potential COVID-19 Drug Begins in Buffalo

Roswell Park
Photo credit Roswell Park - WBEN Photo

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Currently, there is only one FDA-approved medicine for treating Coronavirus patients, meaning the search is on for more options that can help. 

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, along with the University at Buffalo, has been given the green light to see if the the anti-inflammatory agent sarilumab can help critical COVID-19 patients. 

Dr. Igor Puzanov is Director of the Early Phase Clinical Trials Program. He is leading the local trial.

“We just started (Thursday),” Puzanov said. “It looks like out of the small groups of patients available, 20 patients in China, 30 in Italy, that 80 percent avoided a ventilator or improved off a ventilator quickly. There is promise.” 

Puzanov joined WBEN on Friday to ensure people that the study of the drug would not take months or years. 

“This is really day by day, and the outcome could be avoiding ventilators, which is a pretty good outcome.”