NIH Launches Long COVID Treatment Studies Through New Initiative

NIH Launches Long COVID Treatment Studies Through New Initiative

The National Institutes of Health announced on Monday the launching of phase 2 clinical trials to evaluate four potential treatments for long Covid — with seven more to take place in the coming months.

The launching of the clinical trials comes more than two years after health experts and researchers called out the largest sponsor of biomedical research to alleviate the suffering of patients with long-term Covid.

“We know that when patients are suffering, we can never move fast enough,” said Acting NIH Director, Lawrence A. Tabak, in a statement “NIH is committed to a highly coordinated and scientifically rigorous approach to find treatments that will provide relief for the millions of people living with long COVID.”

The trials are part of the RECOVER project, studying symptoms that endure months after an initial coronavirus infection, and will include four areas of treatment:

Reducing viral persistence.

  • Alleviating cognitive problems, such as memory loss and brain fog (RECOVER-VITAL).
  • Reducing excessive sleepiness and sleep disturbances. (RECOVER-SLEEP)
  • Difficulty with attention and attention spans. (RECOVER-NEURO)
  • Treating problems involving the autonomic nervous system, such as heart rate, breathing and the digestive system. (RECOVER-AUTONOMIC)

A fifth treatment remains in development but has yet to be further explored by experts, researchers and patients. RECOVER is enrolling 20,000 adults, pregnant people, and children in cohort studies to leverage existing community-based studies to include 60,000 more people in the program.

The first of the four trials is set to test a longer regimen of the antiviral medication, Paxlovid. The Paxlovid trial will include 900 participants, split into three groups: one receiving the full Paxlovid regimen, which includes nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, for 25 days, and two others receiving more limited treatments, according to RECOVER. The other three trials are slated to have 100 to 300 participants each.

NIH has yet to release details about the seven additional trials to start within the next few months.

Featured Image: Virus Covid Science via Pixabay

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