Hadassah Medical Organization has begun clinical trials of a drug with coronavirus patients in the Ein Kerem outbreak departments. Camostat Mesylate is used in Japan to treat pancreatitis.

Head of Hadassah’s Nuclear Medicine Institute Prof. Eyal Mishani initially procured 7,000 pills for treating COVID19 patients.

“A basic study by a team of German researchers found the drug inhibits the infection of healthy cells in human tissue through the ACE-2 receptor,” says Mishani. “In an article published in the last few days in the prestigious CELL magazine, the researchers explained how the virus enters the cells and how the drug can significantly stop entry. The drug is approved for use in Japan for other purposes and now in the clinical trial will be given to corona patients at Hadassah.”

The criteria for patient selection were defined by a Hadassah team in a proposal approved by the Helsinki Committee responsible for medical experiments in humans.

Those in the early stages of coronavirus will take three pills daily for five days. Initially, 10 patients aged 40 to 80 year-old, in mild to moderate condition will be selected.

This is in addition to a trial just beginning on another Japanese drug – Avigan. That trial is taking place across several hospitals in Israel including Hadassah on 80 patients, all in the early stages after contracting the virus.