EL CENTRO, CA – June 18, 2020 - ECRMC has announced a collaboration
with University of California San Diego School of Medicine on a trial
for COVID-19 treatment using ACE inhibitors.
The trial will study whether ACE inhibitors, used for treating high blood
pressure, heart failure and diabetic kidney disease, might also reduce
the severity of COVID 19 infections, lowering instances of ICU admission
and the necessity of using mechanical ventilators.
The full trial will be coordinated by UC San Diego and is expected be done
at sites throughout the country, including California, New York, Massachusetts
Washington, Texas and Illinois. Approximately 560 participants will be
recruited to participate in the randomized, double blind and placebo controlled
clinical trial, a minimum of 30 ECRMC patients will participate in this
A double-blind and placebo controlled clinical study is one in which neither
the participant nor the researcher knows who is getting the drug treatment
and who is getting the placebo in a controlled group.
Candidates are those who are either presenting with COVID 19 symptoms in
the Emergency Department or are currently hospitalized with the disease.
The study is expected to last a year. Rohit Loomba, MD, professor of medicine
and director of NAFLD Research Center at UC San Diego School of Medicine
will be the study’ s principal investigator.
“There are no approved or proven treatments yet for COVID 19, which
has infected millions worldwide and killed nearly 438,000 with the end
of the pandemic nowhere in sight,” said Dr. Loomba. We’re
investigating whether drugs called ACE inhibitors might be part of the
“Our hypothesis is that ACE inhibitor drugs help keep the RAAS (renin
angiotensin aldosterone system) system in balance and functioning optimally,”
said Loomba. “SARS infections create an imbalance, triggering feedback
loops that promote inflammation and injury a vicious cycle of pathological
consequences that wrack the lungs, heart and other organs, which can kill.”
Prospective patient participants are over the age of 18 and presenting
in the emergency department or at our Outpatient Clinics. Virtual consent
via videoconference or telephone will be required.
“Studies like these are going to help us save lives,” said
Andrew T. LaFree, MD, ECRMC principal investigator for this trial. “Being
a part of clinical trials like these is important to understanding COVID-19
and its treatments. We are pleased to be able to provide local data to
help continue to research treatment of this disease.”
It is important to note that these medical trials will be conducted by
professionals in a controlled environment. The medications will be administered
to participants by physicians who will monitor and evaluate the patients
to ensure their safety.
About El Centro Regional Medical Center
El Centro Regional Medical Center is an acute-care medical center, serving
the health care needs of the Imperial Valley since 1956. In addition to
a 161-bed hospital facility, ECRMC also owns and operates a state-of-the-art
Medical Office Building housing the Oncology & Hematology Center,
Wound Healing Center, Outpatient Imaging services, as well as numerous
specialty clinics. Off-campus facilities include two outpatient clinics
in El Centro and Calexico and a Community Education Center located at
the Imperial Valley Mall. ECRMC provides comprehensive healthcare services
for residents seeking enhanced well-being and improved quality of life.
About UC San Diego Health
UC San Diego Health, the region’s only academic health system, is
dedicated to delivering outstanding patient care through commitment to
community, groundbreaking research and inspired teaching. For 2019-20,
U.S. News and World Report ranked UC San Diego Health among the nation’s
best in four adult medical and surgical specialties, including pulmonology,
geriatrics, neurology and cardiology. The 808-bed academic health system
includes UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest and Jacobs Medical Center,
Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, Moores Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Institute,
Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion and Altman Clinical and Translational
Research Institute, all in La Jolla, as well as primary care and same-day
services at clinics throughout Southern California. For more information,
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