Research at South Shore Hospital Helps Push Forward in the Fight Against COVID-19

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Kristen Perfetuo
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Clinical trials play a key role in modern medicine, helping clinicians and researchers both identify new treatments and improve existing treatments for illnesses of all kinds.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the major causes for concern was the fact that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was what’s known as a “novel” coronavirus — meaning that the virus hadn’t been seen in humans before.

As a result, there weren’t any proven therapies for the virus, making clinical trials all the more essential as the medical community searched for the best way to battle COVID-19.

During the pandemic, South Shore Hospital has continued its decades-long commitment to clinical research and helped push the search for effective treatment forward by participating in COVID-19 clinical trials and other COVID-19 focused research.

Most recently, South Shore Hospital was selected as a study location for an experimental COVID-19 treatment using baricitinib, a drug commonly used as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

The study, which is being sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, is being conducted at more than 50 hospitals across the globe, including hospitals in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

In late June, South Shore Hospital became just the third hospital in the world to successfully enroll and randomize a patient in this study.

“To be able to enroll a patient this early in a study is a huge accomplishment,” said Todd Ellerin, MD, Director of Infectious Disease at South Shore Health and principal investigator for South Shore Hospital’s baricitinib study. “It speaks volumes about our colleagues’ commitment to our patients and dedication to moving forward in the fight against COVID-19.”

In the coming weeks, South Shore Hospital aims to continue to enroll patients in the baricitinib study where appropriate, and will also continue a portfolio of projects which includes both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 research. 

While participation in COVID-19 trials has a more immediate goal of finding treatments to help save lives during the pandemic, South Shore Hospital remains committed to pushing medical progress forward by participating in these cutting-edge trials.

The Office of Research at South Shore Health supports the execution and management of investigator-initiated and sponsor-funded clinical research in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Learn more about the Office of Research.