As COVID-19 Surges, Leading Doctors, Epidemiologists And Business Leaders Call On Americans To Support The COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund

SAN FRANCISCO, July 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As COVID-19 cases spike in 39 states, the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund (CETF) has been…

SAN FRANCISCO, July 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As COVID-19 cases spike in 39 states, the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund (CETF) has been formed to catalyze a broad spectrum of outpatient clinical trials to rapidly identify existing drugs that could act as powerful early treatments against COVID-19, helping to reduce hospitalizations and save lives, fast.

The CETF was founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Steve Kirsch, who recruited leading physicians, scientists and epidemiologists in a bold mission to address one of the most promising approaches to reducing the human toll from COVID-19 – repurposed drugs, which can either be used alone, or combined with other therapeutics.

«We have to stop putting all of our emphasis on vaccines that may never come, or might not work as planned,» said Kirsch. «Early treatment using existing drugs is the fastest, most effective and lowest-cost way to stop COVID-19 in its tracks. The cure for COVID-19 may be hiding in plain sight and CETF has nine plausible outpatient trials ready to be tested – that’s why we’re calling on Americans to join us in this mission by contributing anything they can, whether it’s five dollars or five million, to help us save lives now.»

With a goal to reduce hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 by 75% or more, and help the world safely get back to normal, CETF anticipates funding more than 10 separate outpatient clinical trials. All medical research proposals will be reviewed by the CETF Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which brings together an unmatched team of independent physician-scientists, including:                                                       

  • Robert Siliciano, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of CETF SAB; immunologist and virologist working on HIV, Johns Hopkins
  • Rich D’Aquila, M.D., HIV virology expert and director, Northwestern HIV Translational Research Center; professor of medicine (infectious diseases), Howard Taylor Ricketts
  • Stephen Desiderio, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus of medicine, molecular biology/genetics and medicine, Johns Hopkins
  • Raj Gandhi M.D., physician-scientist; HIV clinical trials expert, Harvard Medical School
  • Frederick Hayden, M.D., professor emeritus of medicine: infectious diseases and international health, University of Virginia
  • Michael Ison, M.D. M.S., physician-scientist; professor of medicine (infectious diseases) and surgery, Northwestern University
  • Carolyn Machamer, Ph.D., professor of cell biology; virologist and coronavirus expert, Johns Hopkins
  • Peter Meinke, Ph.D., director, Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute
  • Doug Richman, M.D., professor emeritus of pathology and medicine; director, University of California, San Diego Center for AIDS Research and Research Center for AIDS and HIV Infection at VA San Diego Healthcare System
  • Richard Whitley, M.D., distinguished professor of pediatrics; professor of microbiology, medicine and neurosurgery; associate director for drug discovery and development, University of Alabama

«Our Scientific Advisory Board brings together a world-leading team of independent physician-scientists, hand-selected for their diverse and complementary expertise,» said Lisa Danzig, M.D., chief medical advisor of CETF. «We are laser-focused on helping medical researchers test existing drugs for use as soon as possible after infection, rather than waiting until patients are hospitalized.»

Clinical trials for repurposed drugs that are being funded by CETF include:

  • Camostat Mesylate – Outpatient trials at Yale and Aarhus University
  • Doxazosin – Early post-infection trials at Johns Hopkins
  • Favipiravir – Outpatient trial at UCLA
  • Fluvoxamine – Outpatient trial at Washington University
  • Monoclonal Antibodies – Funding two mAbs in development at the Rockefeller University
  • Niclosamide – Pre-clinical study to determine the safety and efficacy of the drug
  • Peginterferon Lambda – Outpatient trials at Stanford, Mount Sinai and Johns Hopkins

To learn more about CETF’s mission or donate to expedite the fight against COVID-19, visit


The COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund (CETF) was created to ensure the rapid and successful completion of outpatient clinical trials that lead to effective early treatments for COVID-19, using existing drugs. This bold new approach offers the shortest path to saving lives, by bringing new treatments online within a matter of months. CETF already has several clinical trials ready to go, with dozens more under review. Many of these only need modest funding to get underway. Each proposed trial is rigorously reviewed by a 10-person Scientific Advisory Board, hand-picked for their world-leading expertise in coronaviruses, immunology, and drug development. Only the most well-designed trials with strong scientific rationale are funded, ensuring independent, objective results. CETF goes well beyond just funding and provides a wide range of resources to support the success of the trial including sharing of best practices, assistance in negotiating with drug companies, and assistance with recruitment. Donors are able to effect maximum impact in a minimum amount of time. CETF was founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Steve Kirsch and joined by infectious disease expert Dr. Lisa Danzig, as a way to expedite the fight against COVID-19. Early treatment with existing drugs is the fastest, most effective, and lowest cost way to safely reopen the world. CETF aims to reduce COVID-19 hospitalization and death by at least 75%. Once funded, outpatient trials could identify an effective early treatment within just a few months. Help us expedite the fight against COVID-19 by donating now

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SOURCE COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund