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ACT COVID-19 study for rapid discovery of treatment

A PHRI-led team of investigators has started an inpatient trial (people in hospital with COVID-19) and outpatient trial (people in the Hamilton community) as part of the Anti-Coronavirus Therapies to Prevent Progression of COVID-19 study (ACT).

Some patients at the Hamilton General Hospital and Juravinski Hospital have joined the study, with an expected 500 patients to come, to help us investigate if combinations of drugs can help to slow the progression of the COVID virus.

Up to 1,000 people in the community in Hamilton, and surrounding regions, who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are not hospitalized, are expected to join the outpatient trial.

Participants are being sought for both inpatient and outpatient trials. Visit phri.ca/actcovid19 to learn more.

The ACT COVID-19 study is vital in the race against the clock, globally, to find a way to slow the progression of the disease.

“There is currently no evidence-based treatment for COVID-19 despite what politicians or media might say,” notes Emilie Belley-Côté, the co-Principal Investigator of the ACT COVID-19 study.

Richard Whitlock, the other co-PI, adds that “our study has an adaptive design, such that the promising emerging therapies can be rapidly implemented and robust, timely evidence established.”

When Salim Yusuf, chair of the steering committee for the ACT COVID-19 study, was approached in mid-March by Whitlock about the urgent need for more ventilators at Hamilton hospitals due to the growing number of COVID-19 patients,” we realized, right away, that what is really needed is a way to prevent people from needing ventilation or dying,” Yusuf notes.

They quickly joined forces with other scientists at PHRI, as well as experts within Master University including Dominik Mertz of the McMaster Infectious Diseases Division, and Mark Loeb, of the Pathology and Molecular Medicine Department at McMaster.

The ACT COVID-19 study is sponsored by Hamilton Health Science, through PHRI, and funded to date by Bayer, Inc., the Thistledown Foundation’s Fast Grants program, and PHRI.

Follow news on the study on Twitter using the hashtag #ACTCOVID19.