Fred Hutch opens dedicated research center in Seattle to test treatments for COVID-19 patients

The COVID-19 Clinical Research Center, foreground, in the Minor Building on Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Seattle campus. (Fred Hutch Photo)

Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is opening a new facility dedicated to testing treatments for people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Clinical Research Center, or CCRC is one of the first stand-alone facilities in the country designed for such work, according to Fred Hutch announcement on Monday. Located in the Minor Building on Fred Hutch’s South Lake Union campus, it was funded by philanthropic donations and public/private partnerships.

Scientists and clinicians will partner in the space with study volunteers, health care providers, research institutes, foundations and the biotech/pharmaceutical industry on Phase 1 through 3 clinical trials (observational and interventional) for COVID-19-positive participants.

Two studies are already underway:

  • A Phase 3 randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of remdesivir (GS-5734TM) treatment of individuals with COVID-19 who are not ill enough to be hospitalized. Infectious disease doctors at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington School of Medicine are testing whether remdesivir can reduce symptoms and the need for hospitalization in individuals with early stage COVID-19.
  • A Phase 2/3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial examining REGN-COV2, Regeneron’s investigational double antibody cocktail, in non-hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In this study, which is for people diagnosed with COVID-19 with or without symptoms of the disease, researchers at Fred Hutch and UW Medicine will further test REGN-COV2 and help determine whether it can provide immediate antiviral activity, lasting several weeks.

Fred Hutch says multiple measures are in place to address the safety of study participants and those who are on-site, including air circulation that meets or exceeds standards in medical facilities; separate entry/exits and restrooms for study volunteers with known or potential COVID-19; restricted and secure access to the facility to prevent unauthorized/accidental access; appropriate personal protective equipment for all staff and participants; extensive cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

The facility can be used in the future to test and treat participants with other infectious diseases, Fred Hutch said.

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