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Maine Medical Center joins two clinical trials examining potential treatment for COVID-19

April 14, 2020

Contact: Caroline Cornish
207-662-5146 /

PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Medical Center has joined a pair of clinical trials designed to examine the efficacy of the drug Remdesivir for treatment of moderate and severe COVID-19. The trials’ Principal Investigator is David Seder, M.D., MMC’s chief of critical care, and was organized under the Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI)

MMC enrolled its first patient in the study of treatment for severe disease on April 9 and now has three patients enrolled in that study. MMC has not yet enrolled patients in the study of moderate disease. Study participants must be at least 12-years old, be hospitalized with COVID-19, have no underlying significant kidney or liver dysfunction and not be pregnant or breastfeeding.

“Unless clinical research is conducted to identify which treatments are effective, doctors, nurses and other frontline caregivers will continue to be limited in how they can care for these patients,” Dr. Seder said. “Clinical trials require multi-disciplinary teams who are dedicated to advancing science and patient care so we can develop effective, evidence-based therapies.”

While a preliminary study of 53 patients showed Remdesivir may have some clinical activity against COVID-19, the drug is not yet licensed or approved in the United States and has not been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment of COVID-19. These two studies will enroll up to 7600 patients worldwide. They being sponsored by Gilead Sciences Inc., which manufactures the drug.

“One of our responsibilities at MMCRI is to give Maine people access to important clinical trials like this one that gives them access to potential treatments,” said MMC’s Chief Academic Officer Doug Sawyer, M.D. “While participation in a clinical trial does not guarantee patients they will be cured, and not everyone is eligible for participation, without such trials we will never learn more about how to fight this novel disease.”

Currently, MMC is the only hospital enrolling patients in this study in the state of Maine.

About Maine Medical Center

Maine Medical Center (MMC), recognized as a Best Regional Hospital by U.S. News and World Report for 2019-2020, is a complete health care resource for the people of Greater Portland and the entire state, as well as northern New England. Incorporated in 1868, MMC is the state’s largest medical center, licensed for 637 beds and employing more than 9,600 people. MMC's unique role as both a community hospital and a referral center requires an unparalleled depth and breadth of services, including an active educational program and a world-class biomedical research center. As a nonprofit institution, Maine Medical Center provides nearly 23 percent of all the charity care delivered in Maine. MMC is part of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in northern New England. For more information, visit


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