Study finds metformin reduces COVID-19 viral load, viral rebound

May 2, 2024 — A team of University of Minnesota researchers found that metformin, a drug commonly used to treat diabetes, can decrease the amount of COVID-19 virus in the body and lower the chances of the virus coming back strongly after initial treatment. The study was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

In this phase 3 randomized clinical trial, the researchers tested metformin against a placebo in 1,323 adults infected with COVID-19. The group treated with metformin had a viral load that was about four times lower than the placebo at day 10. The metformin group also had less viral rebound than the placebo group. 

To help steer the direction of the clinical trial, the team used a computer simulator developed by Prof. David Odde, a study co-author, and his team. Prof. Odde commented on the simulator in the study’s news release, saying:

“These results are consistent with the model predictions for viral replication that we developed to identify antiviral drugs at the beginning of the pandemic. This is another great example of how engineering tools can be used to predict clinical outcomes, steer research efforts and ultimately add to the body of knowledge around disease treatments.” 

Full story