COVID treatment drug tested in Tucson shows promising results

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 6:42 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Clinical trials for COVID-19 treatment drugs continue around the country and AZ Liver Health is the biggest testing site in Arizona. Researchers began the clinical trials in July.

“It really is an incredible feat to take a drug from development, through trials so quickly," said Dr. Anita Kohli, the Director of Clinical Research at AZ Liver Health.

Trials typically take several years, and despite the speed, Dr. Kohli said the safety and quality of the drugs shouldn’t be impacted.

“When the side-effects are listed or the safety, tolerability, efficacy is listed, it’s done with the same sort of scrutiny as it is with any other drug that’s available on the market for people with any sort of disease," she said.

Things are quickly moving thanks to mass participation from volunteers, pharmaceutical companies and backing from the federal government.

“It’s a very unique situation in that regard. You have a lot of people who are seeking therapies for a potentially fatal illness," Dr. Kohli said. "So, you would imagine those trials fill quickly because people want options.”

A drug made by Eli Lilly is showing promising results. It’s helping sick patients from getting worse, and shortening the duration of their symptoms. The medication now has emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Next it will be donated to the federal government for distribution

“They’ve already said there will not be enough doses to treat all Americans," she said. "It will be limited to begin with as they ramp up production.”

Nevertheless, it’s a stepping stone towards more healthy recoveries from COVID-19.

The clinic is also testing Regeneron’s treatment drug which is showing promising results and is currently waiting to get emergency approval from the FDA. AZ Liver Health is one of the biggest Regeneron clinical trial sites in the nation.

The clinic is still enrolling people in trials. Find more information about AZ Liver Health’s COVID-19 clinical trial program at or by calling (480) 360-4000.

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