Group Awarded CARES Act Grant for COVID Research
Aug 14, 2020 12:00 AM
In response to the pandemic, the faculty and research team in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery have been collaborating with the Cell Therapy and Regeneration (CellReGen) program to examine a possible treatment for COVID-19: amniotic fluid.
CellReGen, which is housed at the University of Utah, is unique in the world for their ability to process and manufacture human amniotic fluid (hAF) for clinical use. hAF has antimicrobial properties and contains more than 1,000 naturally-derived proteins. As such, it has been used to treat a variety of ailments and, along with other benefits, it is found to decrease inflammation. Given the systemic inflammation seen in COVID-19 patients, it is the groups’ hypothesis that hAF, administered intravenously to hospitalized patients who are moderately ill with COVID-19, will decrease inflammation, thus potentially decreasing the number of patients in need of critical care.
A small proof-of-concept pilot study was completed in the Spring, and the researchers are now preparing to start a larger clinical trial. At the beginning of August, the group was awarded a $229,000 grant through the CARES Act to support this project. While both challenging and unconventional, the team is excited about the potential for positive results, and is grateful for the financial assistance to complete this necessary research.
Read more about the study at the University of Utah Health Newsroom.