The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the start of a randomized, controlled clinical trial testing the safety and efficacy of a new treatment for COVID-19, comprising the antiviral remdesivir and the immunomodulator interferon beta-1a. The Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial 3 (ACTT 3) is expected to test more than 1,000 hospitalized adults with COVID-19 across 100 sites in the U.S. and globally.

Remdesivir is an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. Subcutaneous interferon beta-1a is already approved in the U.S. and more than 90 other countries for multiple sclerosis treatment. The medication is manufactured by Merck KGaA.

Interferon beta-1a possesses the same amino acid sequence as interferon beta, a naturally occurring protein that helps the immune system fight viruses. Studies indicate that the body's normal interferon response may be inhibited in some patients with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Lab tests have shown that type 1 interferon...

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