Parsemus supports study of metformin to fight COVID-19

Metformin pills

The Parsemus Foundation has provided seed funding to initiate research on use of the common diabetes medication metformin for prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The clinical study will be carried out by a team at the University of Minnesota led by co-principal investigators Carolyn Bramante, MD, MPH in the Department of Medicine and Christopher Tignanelli, MD in the Department of Surgery.

Metformin, familiar to many by the brand names Fortamet or Glucophage, is used as a diabetes medication to lower glucose levels. Findings from previous studies provided Bramante’s team with a reason to believe that metformin is a promising treatment and prevention method for COVID-19, including preliminary data from an observational study co-led by Bramante and Tignanelli. The findings align with positive results from observational studies in China and France, and from the University of Alabama.

The Parsemus Foundation funded the University of Minnesota’s investigational new drug (IND) application to the Food and Drug Administration to launch the multi-center randomized controlled clinical trial of the use of metformin as a COVID-19 treatment and prevention method. See the full press release here.

If the metformin clinical trial proves to reduces hospitalization by about 50-60%, as evidenced by observational data, it could potentially prevent thousands of hospitalizations each day in the United States. With generics available for less than $4 per month from manufacturers around the globe, metformin also has the advantage that it can be used immediately and inexpensively worldwide.

Additional funding is needed to complete the clinical trial. Please contact for more information on this funding opportunity. Visit our COVID-19 page for more details on our support of the search for inexpensive, promising treatments.

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