One of the first priorities of the Join Us register is to support COVID-19 research across the country. The ability to recruit large numbers of people to the register, including those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, will help us to answer research questions about:
- immediate and long-term effects of COVID-19, including physical, mental and social impacts;
- the impact on different population groups;
- effective treatments, and
- prevention strategies.
As the register grows we will be inviting participants to contribute to Australia’s research response to COVID-19.
See below an example of the type of COVID-19 research that is already underway – a George Institute trial testing the role of common blood pressure treatment in easing COVID-related lung failure.
The George Institute has announced a new trial to test whether common blood pressure medications reduce the duration and severity of lung failure due to COVID-19 will be supported by government funding.
The CLARITY trial, led by Associate Professor Meg Jardine from The George Institute for Global Health and UNSW Medicine, will receive $1.4 million from the Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).
The group of blood pressure medications – angiotensin receptor blockers or ARBs – have been in clinical use for over 30 years, are well-understood, and widely available at low cost. They protect against lung injury in animal studies, including injury from viruses like the COVID-19 virus, although the effect in humans is not known.
A/Prof Jardine said that if the trial shows they are beneficial, the results could be widely implemented into clinical care almost immediately.
“The threat of COVID-19 outbreaks will remain with us for some time. Repurposed medications that can lessen the duration and severity of COVID-19 disease will provide some relief whilst vaccines are being developed,” she said.
The nation’s medical researchers, including those at The George Institute, have been mobilising rapidly to attempt to lessen the human cost of COVID-19.
“This virus is a huge concern for consumers, particularly for people already living with health conditions,” commented David Morgan, the lead consumer representative on the study team.
“Engaging with patients and consumer representatives throughout the whole process will help optimise research outcomes, and is possible, even in urgent situations such as this one,” he said.
The trial, also supported by The Institute’s Professors Christine Jenkins, Simon Finfer and Vivekanand Jha, Dr Sradha Kotwal, Associate Professor Gian Luca Di Tanna and Carinna Hockham, will commence this month.
* The story is republished from The George Institute website with permission. Read the original post here.