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Trial begins on drug to help keep COVID-19 patients off ventilator

Posted at 6:16 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 21:16:54-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - PhaseBio, a company based out of San Diego and Pennsylvania, announced it would be starting a clinical trial for a drug that could help keep severe COVID-19 patients from needing a ventilator.

“If you are infected with coronavirus and you’re admitted to hospital, we’re trying to catch those patients before they have a rapid decline and prevent intubation or other more severe complications of the coronavirus,” said Jonathan Mow, CEO of PhaseBio.

The drug is called PB1046 and is a “novel, once-weekly, subcutaneously-injected vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) receptor.”

It was originally being researched for use on patients with high blood pressure, said Mow.

But they pivoted when they realized it might have properties that could help prevent acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a potentially deadly condition caused by the inflammation of the lungs due to the body’s immune response to the coronavirus.

“We realized that the characteristics of our drug fit nicely to what we would want to control in the complications in coronavirus patients,” said Mow.

The clinical trial will take place at 20 different locations and involve about 210 subjects who have been hospitalized and require oxygen, but have not been intubated.

Mow said they hope to publish the results of the trial by the end of the year.