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Sanford Health Begins I-SPY Clinical Trial for Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients

Aug 13, 2020 11:15AM ● By MED Magazine
Sanford Health has a new option for the most critically ill patients battling complications from COVID-19. The I-SPY trial administers a medication, or combination of medications, for patients requiring a high flow of oxygen.

I-SPY was announced in April by Quantum Leap Healthcare Collaborative, a nonprofit organization focused on uniting patient care and research. The goal is to rapidly identify therapies to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients.

“We are always pushing at Sanford Health to be on the front lines of emerging trends,” said Paul Berger, D.O., FCCP, the lead physician for the clinical trial and a specialist in respiratory and critical care medicine at Sanford Health. “To be able to offer this experimental therapy to the most ill patients while gathering data that can potentially help many more patients in the future is a major step forward against this new virus.”

Patients for this trial will be identified by their treating physicians in the COVID-19 unit at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls. There are plans to expand the trial to Sanford Fargo Medical Center.

In this trial, a placebo is not used. Remdesivir will be the constant medication that all enrolled patients will receive. Some patients will receive additional medication. Remdesivir has previously been tested against MERS and SARS in laboratory and animal studies. While not all details are known, scientists believe Remdesivir could interrupt the ability of the virus to duplicate itself.