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Targeting Lung Blood Vessel Inflammation in COVID-19 Patients

Principal investigator Richard Becker, MD, director of the University of Cincinnati Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute discusses the phase 2 clinical trial for razuprotafib.

Inflammation in the organs caused by COVID-19 has been a significant problem for patients and can lead to a worsening of their conditions and in some cases lead to death. One particular area that has been problematic with severe cases of COVID-19 has been the blood vessels within the lungs.

A new phase 2 clinical trial using razuprotafib, an investigational therapy, activates a key pathway for stabilizing blood vessels in the lungs. Razuprotafib may also prevent and treat respiratory distress in COVID-19 patients.

The University of Cincinnati Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute is one of the sites across the United States selected for a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled phase 2 study. As part of that trial, which is designed as a parallel-group, dose escalation and proof-of-concept study, razuprotafib will be administered 3 times daily for a 7-day period to hospitalized patients. The trial may enroll approximately 180 patients nationwide.

The investigational therapy activates Tie2 receptor proteins on the surface of endothelial cells to bind to angiopoietins to support endothelial viability and function and are needed to form, repair and stabilize blood vessels.

Principal investigator Richard Becker, MD, director of the University of Cincinnati Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute spoke to Contagion® about the investigational therapy and the parameters of the phase 2 clinical trial.