Maui Coronavirus Updates

UH Clinical Trial Seeks Individuals Recently Diagnosed with COVID-19 

September 21, 2020, 9:58 AM HST
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PC: University of Hawaiʻi.

Researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine are conducting a COVID-19 clinical trial and are seeking individuals who were recently diagnosed with the virus to participate in a 21-day study.

“Finding an effective therapy for COVID-19 is very important. In fact, it may be more important or as important as finding a vaccine. Because you do not want to get ill and end up in the hospital,” said Cecilia Shikuma, JABSOM Professor of Medicine.

“One of the good things about entering a clinical trial is that your clinical status will be monitored by a group of very experienced doctors and nurses,” said Shikuma.

Participants will be placed on either a placebo (sugar pill) or telmisartan, a medication commonly used for blood pressure control.

Researchers hypothesize that much of the dangerous lung and heart effects of COVID-19 is caused by the virus’ ability to dysregulate the delicate balance in a hormone system in the human body called the renin angiotensin system. Telmisartan lowers blood pressure by blocking the harmful effects of this hormone system.

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In addition to taking medications for 21 days, participants will be asked to monitor their temperature and blood pressures at home. The study will draw blood and obtain self-administered nasal swabs during study visits.

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Participants will be paid $40/study visit for a total of four visits ($160).

Researchers say it is an advantage that telmisartan is already FDA-approved and many of the safety concerns of the drug are already known.

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