WHO starts Coronavirus “solidarity trial” in Norway

Oslo.John-Arne Røttingen, CEO of the Research Council.Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) global “solidarity trial” to evaluate possible Covid-19 medicines begins in Norway.

The first patient to participate in the drug trial is a patient at Oslo University Hospital.

“It is a great recognition for Norwegian research and the Norwegian health service that we are involved in this global and important study right from the start,” said Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H).

The trial will be coordinated by Director John-Arne Røttingen in the Research Council of Norway.

“We need to understand how to best treat those who are ill. We are now in the midst of a global research to gain good and safe knowledge, and Norway is participating,” said Røttingen.

Two medications to be tested
The professional at Oslo University Hospital is leading the Norwegian part of the trial. It is already known that the hospital has been testing malaria medication for Coronavirus patients. Patients treated with the medication must give their consent

Haukeland University Hospital has previously confirmed that they are undergoing testing of the remedial medicine Remdesivir, according to TV 2.

Initially, two drugs will be tested against the Coronavirus in Norway. It is the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine / Plaquenil and the antiviral compound, Remdesivir.

The trial will later test an HIV treatment (lopinavir / ritonavir) alone or together with a drug for hepatitis (interferon-β 1a).

Important to compare treatments
Researchers around the world will gather information on how these treatments affect patients’ survival and how long they need intensive care and hospitalization.

“There are many people who are concerned about finding treatments that work on the new disease. It is important that we do this in large-scale studies where we compare different treatments. It is the only way we can get secure knowledge about what works and that it is safe,” said Minister of Health and Care Bent Høie (H).

The trial is scheduled to be conducted at 22 hospitals across the country. The health regions contribute 20 million kroner to it.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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