eMed and Scripps Research Collaborate with NIH to Study COVID-19 Rebound After Treatment

MIAMI, Sept. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- eMed (www.eMed.com), the leader in rapid at-home treatment for COVID-19 through its on-demand telehealth platform, today announced its collaboration with Scripps Research Translational Institute to lead one of the largest studies to date to evaluate "viral rebound" after COVID-19.

(PRNewsfoto/eMed)
(PRNewsfoto/eMed)

The new study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), aims to enroll up to 800 COVID-19-positive individuals to better understand how often and why some patients who take Pfizer's oral anti-viral pill Paxlovid or who recover naturally from the virus end up "rebounding" back to having symptoms or positive tests.

To make the study possible, individuals who use eMed's Telehealth Kit to test and receive an immediate medical evaluation for oral antiviral treatment are invited to join the at-home study. Each participant receives an eMed Telehealth Kit and is monitored for two weeks for clearance and return of symptoms or virus using the Telehealth Kit's at-home rapid tests.

The study was developed after COVID-19 patients began to report a return of symptoms or virus positivity on rapid tests after taking oral antiviral medications. Pfizer's data suggests that rebound after Paxlovid is rare, affecting between 1% and 2% of people who take the life-saving drug, which they reported was similar to rebound among people who received no treatment. However, news reports of rebound have led scientists to question whether the rate of rebound may be higher, with one preliminary study suggesting symptoms may return in up to 27% of treated individuals. Overall, Paxlovid has been shown to reduce hospitalizations and deaths by nearly 90%, making it a critical tool in our defenses against COVID-19.

"The importance of understanding how frequently people who are treated for COVID-19 recover completely or rebound back to virus positivity cannot be overstated," said Michael Mina, MD, PhD, an infectious disease epidemiologist, immunologist, and physician who recently left his post as a professor at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School to become eMed's Chief Science Officer. "Effective treatments for COVID-19 are among the most important tools humans have to get out of this pandemic. Knowing who stands to benefit the most from treatment, and knowing if rebound of symptoms is associated with different health outcomes or onward transmission is of massive individual and public health importance," said Mina.

The urgency to understand the benefits and limitations of life-saving drugs like Paxlovid led eMed to initiate the study in partnership with Scripps Researchers Eric Topol, MD, founder and director of Scripps Research Translational Institute, and Jay Pandit, MD, director of digital medicine at Scripps Research and Translational Institute. The funding from the NIH, which is going to the non-profit Scripps Research Translational Institute, will serve to accelerate and expand the study to include more participants and to more closely evaluate whether rebound is associated with particular immune responses to the virus or if it is more or less common depending on different virus variants.

"Answering population health questions of urgency during the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic requires agile interdisciplinary collaborations like the one we have with eMed," says Pandit.

The researchers expect that the first results of the research study will become available in the coming weeks.

About eMed
eMed is the leader in rapid access to on-demand at-home telehealth services. Our Telehealth platform embraces quantitative medicine and is revolutionizing the healthcare industry with the first-of-its-kind at-home Test-to-Treat™ solution. It's innovative, efficient, and cost-effective. Learn more at www.eMed.com.

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