Atrium Health Opens its First Clinical Trial for COVID-19

04.27.2020 Atrium Health News | Levine Cancer Institute

The first clinical trial for patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is officially open at Atrium Health.

The international trial, coordinated locally by Levine Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Division, was launched in less two weeks-an extraordinary feat.

“We know the fast pace in which everything is moving right now, and we appreciate the tremendous level of collaboration this entailed,” said Phil Butera, Assistant Vice President, Clinical Trials, at Levine Cancer Institute. “We worked tirelessly to make this happen so we can bring a hopeful opportunity to patients who are in need of treatment options, as so much is not known about this virus.”

Zainab Shahid, MD FACP, Medical Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Infectious Diseases at Levine Cancer Institute, is serving as Principal Investigator of the trial. “The study drug appears to offer a promising treatment option; we are excited to offer this trial to our patients,” said Dr. Shahid.” Only with the help of clinical trials can we find treatment answers for COVID-19.”

Referred to as the XPORT trial, Dr. Shahid and her team are aiming to enroll one to two patients a week with a goal of identifying the best treatment option for patients, as there are no proven therapies at this time. Up until a few days ago, it was believed that hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine could be a potential option to treat patients with coronavirus, but now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions against the use of those therapies outside of the hospital setting due to risk of heart rhythm problems.

The trial will be available to patients at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center, Atrium Health Cabarrus, Atrium Health Pineville and Atrium Health University City. Patients enrolled in the trial will take a pill every other day, and they can even partake in the trial while healing at home. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines back up Atrium Health’s evidence-based approach to the treatment of SAR-COV-2, including offering clinical trials to its patients, and XPORT is one of them.

Photo Information:

Deborah Lewis, Associate Director, Levine Cancer Institute Clinical Trials (striped top/black scarf)

Sharon Rankin, Associate Director, Levine Cancer Institute Research Regulatory Affairs (red jacket)

Zainab Shahid, MD FACP, Principal Investigator, Medical Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Infectious Diseases, Levine Cancer Institute (black scrubs)