U Of M Researching Whether Diabetes Drug Helps With COVID

Researchers are in the process of recruiting volunteers for the clinical trial involving Metformin, Kate Raddatz reports (2:08). WCCO 4 News At 6 - March 19, 2021

Video Transcript

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: The University of Minnesota Medical School is studying whether a common diabetes drug could help treat COVID-19. Researchers are in the process of recruiting volunteers for the clinical trial involving Metformin. The drug is FDA approved to treat type 2 diabetes. Kate Raddatz looks at how the study will work and how the drug could play a role for the long term.

KATE RADDATZ: As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out to try to prevent disease, researchers are studying a drug already on the market to see if it could be used in treating the virus.

CAROLYN BRAMANTE: One area where there's a lot of need still is that early outpatient treatment.

KATE RADDATZ: The clinical trial will look at immune response and hospitalization rates of people diagnosed with COVID-19 after taking the oral drug Metformin. Recent positive test patients will be given a 14 day prescription or a placebo.

CAROLYN BRAMANTE: To see if it reduces severity of COVID-19 disease and reduces development of the long COVID symptoms that develop, even in individuals who have a mild course of COVID-19.

KATE RADDATZ: Researchers want to study Metformin after observing that COVID positive patients that were taking the drug before they got the disease tended to have less severe outcomes. The study is also unique in that it will be the only COVID clinical trial in the world to include pregnant women, who are at higher risk for COVID-19 complications. They were left out of the vaccine trials, which is standard in studying new drugs.

CAROLYN BRAMANTE: There is currently a lot of data in randomized trials in pregnancy showing that it's safe.

KATE RADDATZ: If Metformin proves to be successful in the trial, the goal would to have it also be marketed as a way to treat COVID, where you could pick it up at your local pharmacy and treat your symptoms at home.

CAROLYN BRAMANTE: If we find that in a trial setting Metformin doesn't work, that's also valuable information. So the other trials that are starting will study other medication.

KATE RADDATZ: Kate Raddatz, WCCO 4 News.

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: Researchers are looking for volunteers between the ages of 30 and 85 with a BMI at or above 25 and they will be compensated. If you're interested in signing up, we have all that information.