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CLEVELAND (WJW)– A local hospital is among the first in the nation to do clinical trials of a possible treatment for COVID-19.

“We’ve been looking for any potential medicine that can block the virus very early on,” said Dr. Grace McComsey, director of University Hospitals Clinical Research Center

Now, University Hospitals is one of the first sites in the nation to conduct clinical trials on people with COVID-19 who do not need to go to the hospital.

“Right now, there is nothing to give patients oral. If I get sick tomorrow, there is nothing I can take that is simple and safe that could help me not to progress and end up in the hospital,” McComsey said.

According to McComsey, the drug is called Upamostat and is normally used along with chemotherapy in cancer patients.

“It blocks replication within the cells and it has a protective effect. So take the lungs, it has a protective effect on the lung cells against the virus,” McComsey said.

Those in the study will be randomly given either the drug or a placebo. They will take the drug or the placebo by mouth once a day for up to 14 days.

“An ideal participant is someone who just got diagnosed with COVID. We want people very early in the course within three days of having symptoms,” McComsey said.

Researchers plan to enroll 310 participants in the study.

For more information about the study, please see or call 1-833-788-7425, or visit, study ID: NCT04723537