LONG BEACH, Calif., April 15, 2020 – MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center, which was recently selected by Gilead Sciences as one of the first expanded access sites on the West Coast to provide the investigational antiviral medication Remdesivir (RDV) as a potential treatment for COVID-19, has announced the enrollment of its first three patients in the international, multicenter clinical study.Dr. Su

The primary objective of the clinical study is to provide expanded access of RDV for the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) infection in adults over the age of 18. Remdesivir is a drug that was initially developed by Gilead for the treatment of disease related to the Ebola and Marburg viruses, but it also showed potential in treating several other single strand RNA viruses – including multiple strains of coronavirus.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Gilead sought and received rapid acceptance from the FDA to launch multiple clinical trials related to RDV, including the recently approved expanded access treatment protocol. According to the FDA, expanded access, commonly referred to as “compassionate use,” is a potential pathway for a patient with an immediately life-threatening condition or serious disease or condition to gain access to an investigational medical product for treatment outside of clinical trials when no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy options are available. 

Long Beach Medical Center’s research team, led by infectious disease specialist and Principal Investigator
Henry Su, M.D., is excited to provide a potentially beneficial therapy to their patients while collecting and providing valuable data to Gilead Sciences as they work toward formalizing a treatment protocol for COVID-19.

“Our participation in the Remdesivir expanded access study is consistent with our goal of providing patients with severe COVID-19 infection access to the latest and most potentially efficacious treatment options. Patients will be closely monitored as part of the study protocol to ensure their safety,” says Dr. Su.

“Remdesivir is a promising investigational antiviral medication under study for the treatment of severe COVID-19. All of us at MemorialCare are excited to participate in Gilead’s expanded access study, which allows our expert team of intensivists and infectious disease specialists to offer the drug to appropriate critically ill patients at Long Beach Medical Center,” adds R. Kevin Jones, MD, medical director of MemorialCare Office of Research Administration. “Research is a key component of MemorialCare’s mission, and we are continuing to work diligently with our physicians to broaden research participation opportunities across our health system.”

For more information about the study, please visit Gilead Sciences and ClinicalTrials.gov.

About Long Beach Medical Center

Long Beach Medical Center, part of OC-based MemorialCare, has been providing the community with compassionate, quality health care for more than 100 years. While leading in specialized care, research and education, Long Beach Medical Center has an outstanding record of innovation and medical advances, along with numerous accolades. With leading centers for cancer, heart, rehabilitation, orthopedics, neurology and trauma, physicians and surrounding hospitals continually refer to its accredited programs. The entire care team works diligently to provide the highest level of care for chronic diseases, critical illnesses, outpatient procedures, older adult support and medical disorders. For more information, visit memorialcare.org/LongBeach.