Dr. Daniel Ovakim is helping lead a multinational study on Vancouver Island. The Solidarity Trial, launched by the World Health Organization, has already seen over 1,000 patients enroll in over 100 countries. (Provided by Dr. Daniel Ovakim)

Multinational trial for COVID-19 treatment comes to Vancouver Island

More than 1,000 patients have already been enrolled in the Solidarity Trail, launched by the WHO

Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 on the Island could be helping to find a treatment for the virus by taking part in a multinational control trial.

More than 1,000 patients have already been enrolled in the Solidarity Trial, launched by the World Health Organization, in more than 100 countries. Patients diagnosed with the coronavirus at the Royal Jubilee, the Victoria General or Nanaimo Regional General hospitals will be approached to take part in the study and given a randomized “arm of treatment” if they agree to take part.

Arms of treatment include standard of care; hydroxychloroquine which has been used to treat malaria; Kaletra, a drug used to treat HIV and Remdesivir, a new antiviral that was previously used as a treatment for Ebola and has produced “promising results” in animal studies for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), according to the World Health Organization.

READ ALSO: Only five COVID-19 patients across all Vancouver Island’s hospitals

“The crude outcome we’re looking at is mortality, so do these drugs have any effect on the patient’s mortality,” say Dr. Daniel Ovakim, critical care physician with Island Health.

As of Tuesday, April 21, there were only five people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Island hospitals. Those five patients, Ovakim explains, have already been in hospital too long to be enrolled in the study.

Currently, no one on the Island has been enrolled as the program just got up and running at the beginning of the week — “now we’re just waiting for patients,” says Ovakim.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria resident sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Enrollment in the trial is voluntary and can be revoked at any time the patient wishes.

“The risks are minimal and really depend on which drug they’re randomized to,” says Ovakim. “Any drug that we give a patient will have some side effect and risk potential and part of the study is to investigate unknown risks associated with these drugs.”

Ovakim says the results of the trial could take up to two years to provide useful information to produce a treatment for the virus.

“The sheer amount of information that is being populated online … all this information needs to be clarified because we can’t have people and physicians using treatments that may be harmful,” he says. “The importance of this trial is to get the answers out there quickly so we know we’re not putting any patients at undue risk simply because it’s being promoted by nonphysicians as a treatment.”



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

Welcome to grilling season: Saanich firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

Cycling scavenger hunt comes to Tweed City

Cyclists scour Oak Bay for clues in Bike to Work Week event

Colwood woman launches Adopt a Grad

Facebook page aims to support students during pandemic

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read