Northwell Health launches trial testing antacid drug as potential COVID-19 treatment

Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, the research arm of New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health, launched a clinical trial studying histamine 2 blocker famotidine (sold under the brand name Pepcid) as a potential COVID-19 treatment.

The trial, which the health system announced Jan. 27, is completely virtual. It is recruiting COVID-19 patients across the New York City area who are experiencing only mild to moderate symptoms that do not require hospitalization.

Participants will be given either a placebo or 240 milligrams famotidine to take orally each day for a maximum of 14 days. They will receive training on how to track data from their homes using an iPad, Bluetooth-enabled scale, thermometer, fitness tracker, spirometer, thermometer and pulse oximeter.

"From assessment, to enrollment and daily data collection, we hope this study’s model will be an example for future clinical trials, and will provide high quality data as we assess candidate treatments, like famotidine, to curb this disease," Tobias Janowitz, MD, PhD, the trial's principal investigator said in a news release.

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