Focusing on You: COVID-19 Response at University of Miami Health System

2 min read  |  June 16, 2020  | 

UM Tests Drug to Lessen Severity of COVID-19

Dr. Dushyantha Jayaweera, physician-researcher at the University of Miami Health System, discusses a clinical trial for a drug called Aviptadil that may help prevent death and serious illness due to COVID-19.


Narrator: Focusing on You. Innovations in Modern Medicine from your team of experts at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

Pam Giganti: As the work continues to find a vaccine for COVID-19, researchers at the University of Miami Health System are hopeful, a new clinical trial may lead to better treatment of the disease.

Dr. Dushyantha Jayaweera: Our greatest hope is that this shows the effectiveness of preventing cytokine storm, and we are looking at people getting off ventilators.

Pam Giganti: Cytokine storm is a reaction in the lungs that can cause death in patients with the novel Coronavirus. Dr. Dushyantha Jayaweera leads a clinical trial at UHealth, testing a drug called Aviptadil that could help control this reaction in intubated patients.

Dr. Jayaweera: That using the drug, we may be able to stop these catastrophic changes and death happening with COVID-19.

Pam Giganti: According to Dr. Jayaweera, the drug has been widely studied and is considered safe for treating some chronic pulmonary diseases.

Dr. Jayaweera: One of the advantages of Aviptadil in preventing the cytokine storm is that it does not suppress the immune system.

Pam Giganti: In this double-blind randomized trial, some patients receive the drug while others receive a placebo to help ensure unbiased results.

Dr. Jayaweera: This comes naturally to UHealth because that’s our mission, to bring research, share it with the people, but do it in the most ethical and scientific rigorous way. Our hope is actually to make our community healthy. That’s our hope. That’s our mission.

Tags: clinical study, COVID-19, cytokine storm

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