BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the race continues to find treatments for the coronavirus, the results from a study of a drug used to treat another deadly virus is showing promise.
29-year-old Drew McDonald said the coronavirus hit him hard. So, when doctors approached him about a clinical trial, he was in.
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“I was already hooked up getting my medication for my double pneumonia,” he said. “So I thought, ‘Why not. You know, why not?'”
1,063 people either took a placebo or a drug called remdesivir.
Researchers said the results were optimistic. People on remdesivir took an average of 11 days to get better versus 15 days.
They also recovered 31 percent faster.
Doctor Anthony Fauci said the drug also seemed to decrease mortality rates.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine was part of the international study. Patients with extreme cases of the coronavirus got treatment at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dr. Karen Kotloff lead the study right here in Baltimore.
“We should be cautiously optimistic, because these interim results show that the drug has an effect on improving recovery and decreasing mortality, and that’s exactly what we want a drug to do,” she said.
The comprehensive results aren’t in yet, but some patients saw a change.
“By the time I left the hospital, I was already improving drastically,” McDonald said.