Jul 2: UMC Utrecht starts clinical trial into possible corona treatment

Jul 2: UMC Utrecht starts clinical trial into possible corona treatment

A phase 2 clinical study with a new drug candidate in adults with a corona infection will start on July 5 at UMC Utrecht. The drug, ensovibep, should accelerate the recovery from corona and prevent the need for (urgent) hospital care.

The research leader in the Netherlands is Prof. Marc Bonten, medical microbiologist at UMC Utrecht: “Fortunately, the number of infections is declining sharply. At the same time, we cannot say that corona is completely out of our lives. In the EMPATHY study, we will investigate the efficacy and safety of ensovibep when administered within seven days of infection. If it does work, it could help prevent aggravation of illness and hospitalizations. Then, in addition to vaccines, we also have a treatment for people in the early stage of infection.”

Prof. dr. Marc Bonten

The international study called EMPATHY looks at the safety and efficacy of the drug ensovibep. This drug has been developed with the aim of stopping the spread of a COVID-19 infection in the body. The study was designed to determine whether the use of the drug accelerates recovery and avoids the need for hospital or emergency care. Previous research with this drug showed an effect on all known variants of the virus. A total of 100 volunteers will be sought by UMC Utrecht for this Phase 2 study in the Netherlands, followed by research in Phase 3 with 70 volunteers.

Ensovibep is a protein designed to block SARS-CoV-2 from attaching to certain cells in the body. Ensovibep has been given to healthy people in a previous study. Now people aged 18 and over are being sought for the study.

Study design

UMC Utrecht is part of an international study into the drug Ensovibep. Worldwide 400 people are being sought for Phase 2 and 1,700 for Phase 3 research.

Corona-positive patients can participate in the three-month study within seven days of the positive test. The medicine is administered once through an intravenous drip. Patients have to stay for five hours, including screening and check-up, in the UMC Utrecht. Transport to and from UMC Utrecht is organized free of charge for the participants by taxi.

In the Netherlands you can now register via

Working at UMC Utrecht





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