Researchers Launch Trial Of Treatments For Severe COVID-19 Patients

Apr 28, 2021, 5:15 PM | Updated: 9:50 pm

MURRAY, Utah – Researchers at Intermountain Healthcare announced they were leading a new clinical trial intended to help the COVID-19 patients least likely to leave the hospital alive.

Officials said they want to find out how well two treatments work for COVID-19 patients in intensive care.

“We have had some real successes in identifying therapies, but so far, we’ve been struggling to find therapies that will work for the sickest of the sick, the people who are on life-support treatment because their lungs are failing,” said Dr. Samuel Brown, Intermountain Healthcare’s medical director of critical care and pulmonary research, who is also the principal investigator in the Phase 3 trial.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, doctors at Intermountain Healthcare have tested ways to treat patients with COVID-19 once it gets into their lungs and makes them deathly ill. Now, they are seeking solid answers.

“The typical person infected with COVID has a nasty cold and gets better,” Brown said.

Brown said the fact that COVID-19 is so highly transmissible enables the virus to infect so many people.

“So you get huge numbers infected, and then you end up with large numbers of people who get very very sick,” said Brown.

While more people get vaccinated across the country, Brown said doctors still need treatments for those who are getting infected. They’ve used several therapeutics, or treatments, that seem to work well.

“It’s promising,” Brown said. “But we really want to know the answer: does it work or does it not?”

The National Institutes of Health launched a study at sites around the world, bringing together major hospitals from across the country, including in Utah. The University of Utah Hospital will also participate in the trial.

The randomized trial will test two therapeutic agents, Zyesami and remdesivir, in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS. That’s a life-threatening condition in which the lungs are inflamed and may not be able to maintain sufficient oxygen in the blood.

“It’s devastating,” said Brown. “It can kill 20-40% of the people inflicted by it, and the majority of survivors may take six months, 12 months or five years to recover.”

Some may never completely recover, he said, adding that ARDS is the main way people have been dying from COVID-19.

How quickly they get answers in the trial depends on how many patients have COVID-19 in the areas where they are conducting the trial, which will likely be 80 sites globally when the trial is up and running.

“If we have large amounts of COVID in the hospitals and large numbers of patients in this trial, we’ll be able to answer the question quickly,” said Brown. “If, however, it moves to a kind of smolder the way the H1N1 was, then it will take us longer.”

Brown said this was the first trial that focuses entirely on patients with the most severe phase of COVID-19.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
16 days ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 months ago
flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
4 months ago
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
4 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Researchers Launch Trial Of Treatments For Severe COVID-19 Patients