While research and testing for COVID-19 treatment is underway at countless hospitals, labs, and universities across the country, much is being done right here on the Eastside.

Following a recent announcement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) regarding the use of the anti-viral Remdesivir to potentially treat COVID-19, Kirkland-based EvergreenHealth issued a statement that it would move forward with the next phase of its clinical research.

Over the preceding weeks, EvergreenHealth had become the first West Coast site — and the second globally — to participate in the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), sponsored by NIAID. The trial is the first of its kind in the United States to evaluate an experimental treatment for COVID-19.

“From the very beginning, I’ve been inspired by the way every one of our staff members has jumped into action to come together and launch these research efforts as quickly as possible,” said Diego Lopez de Castilla, EvergreenHealth’s infectious disease specialist and lead investigator for the trial. “From our nursing to pharmacy teams, it is amazing and humbling to witness this level of teamwork and dedication to exploring new opportunities to potentially advance our ability to provide treatment options for critically ill COVID-19 patients.”

The first part of the ACTT was double-blind; participants were randomized 1:1, with 50 percent receiving a placebo. Following NIAID’s announcement of promising results — 1,063 COVID-19 participants across 68 sites recovered 31 percent faster than those who received the placebo — EvergreenHealth now will move to the second arm of the trial, which removes the placebo and provides all patients in the trial with the anti-viral Remdesivir.

EvergreenHealth CEO Jeff Tomlin said he is proud of the hospital’s role in the trial.

“We are very pleased by the initial findings of the Adaptive COVID-19 treatment trial, and incredibly honored to contribute to this significant body of research in the fight against COVID-19,” Tomlin said.