Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections, University of Michigan / 08.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arnold S. Monto, M.D. Professor, Epidemiology Professor, Global Public Health Thomas Francis, Jr. Collegiate Professor of Public Health University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This is part of a continuing study in families first designed to examine how influenza vaccine is working in the community  We have expanded it to look broadly at all respiratory viruses There are 4 coronaviruses which are known to cause respiratory illnesses each year and we had these data ready to go when the pandemic started. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 07.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul B. McCray, Jr., M.D. Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology, and Internal Medicine Executive Vice Chair of Pediatrics Associate Director: Center for Gene Therapy Roy J. Carver Chair in Pulmonary Medicine Pappajohn Biomedical Institute Carver College of Medicine University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA  52242 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is great interest in developing a vaccine that could help protect people from infection with SARS-CoV-2.  Over the last 15 years, my laboratory has helped develop small animal models of the severe coronavirus diseases SARS and MERS to study disease pathogenesis and to test treatments.  In this study, we used a mouse model of the MERS coronavirus to test a vaccine idea in collaboration with Dr. Biao He at the University of Georgia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Stanford / 07.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melissa Bondy, PhD Chair, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health Stanford University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Faculty researchers in Stanford’s Department of Epidemiology & Population Health and collaborators from Baylor College of Medicine and Stanford’s Department of Dermatology developed an online survey aimed at rapidly assessing public concerns about the COVID-19 crisis. This survey, which was posted on 3 social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and Nextdoor) on March 14, 2020, collected invaluable data about COVID-19, including symptoms, concerns, and individual actions taken by respondents. Twitter and Facebook posts were sharable to facilitate snowball sampling. The survey was comprised of 21 (multiple-choice, single-choice, numeric, and open-ended) questions, which were designed to collect data concerning respondent demographics and recent cold and flu-like illnesses (if any), as well as information about participants’ concerns and any lifestyle changes that occurred as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. All questions were optional, so response rates were variable.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections, Pediatrics / 07.04.2020

genentech MedicalResearch.com: What are the applicable pediatric and post-exposure indications? Response: We recently announced that the U.S. FDA has accepted a New Drug Application (NDA) as well as two supplemental New Drug Applications (sNDA) for Xofluza® (baloxavir marboxil). The FDA accepted an NDA for a new formulation of Xofluza as one-dose granules for oral suspension (2 mg/mL), potentially offering a more convenient option for children and those who have difficulty swallowing. In addition, the application seeks approval of Xofluza for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza in otherwise healthy children aged one to less than 12 years of age who have been symptomatic for no more than 48 hours. The FDA also accepted an sNDA for post-exposure prophylaxis of influenza in people one year of age and older for both the oral suspension and currently-available tablet formulation. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dermatology / 04.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amit Gefen PhD Professor of Biomedical Engineering The Herbert J. Berman Chair in Vascular Bioengineering Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although we are witnessing continuous progress in medical technologies, the design of many of the most commonly used medical devices e.g. oxygen masks or cervical collars has changed very little over a period of decades. Not surprisingly, these devices are also the ones which are frequently associated with device-related pressure ulcers (DRPUs). These DRPUs are frequently a hospital-acquired injury which involves risk of infections (including e.g. sepsis and antibiotic-resistant bacteria), scarring with serious psychological consequences, additional and significant healthcare costs and a basis for liability suits and litigation. The problem is massive in Europe and the US and is most frequently encountered in clinical environments where devices are used intensively, such as in operation theatres, intensive care units and emergency care settings (in both adult and pediatric medicine), but also, in elderly care facilities where patients often have fragile skin. With the current pandemic spread of the coronavirus, facilities worldwide are experiencing a considerable rise in usage of emergency and intensive care equipment, which will very likely considerably escalate the incidence of DRPUs. Early in 2019, a committee of global experts which I have chaired, has met for two days of intensive deliberation in London UK, to start developing the first-ever international consensus document on device-related pressure ulcers . After a rigorous review process by an international review committee of other experts, this consensus report has been published as a Special Edition of the Journal of Wound Care in February 2019 (https://doi.org/10.12968/jowc.2020.29.Sup2a.S1), under the name "Device-related pressure ulcers: SECURE prevention". The publisher has kindly made this publication freely downloadable and thereby accessible and available to anyone, including all professionals who may need guidance in this regard, including clinicians, industry, regulators and academic researches. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pulmonary Disease / 04.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aurika Savickaite RN Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Bulletproof Coach University of Chicago Medicine MedicalResearch.com: Would you briefly explain what is meant by helmet-based ventilation? How does it work?   Response: For patients in respiratory failure, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) is usually delivered through a nasal mask or facemask. Many patients develop pain, discomfort – even claustrophobia -- from using NIPPV systems.  The transparent helmet was developed to improve the tolerance of noninvasive ventilation. It allows the patient to see, read, speak and drink without interrupting noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NPPV). The helmet has a sealed connection and a soft collar that adheres to the neck which helps prevent the air leaks that are very common with nasal- or face masks.  High positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) is vital in treating patients in respiratory failure and thanks to helmets “none to minimum air leak” system, PEEP can be set high (up to 25). NIPPV via a nasal- or full-face mask typically begins to show air leaks when the required pressure exceeds 15-20cm H2O. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 03.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Amitai Ziv, MD, MHA Deputy Director of Sheba Medical Center Founder and Director, The Israel Center for Medical Simulation MedicalResearch.com: Would you briefly describe the mission/history of Sheba Medical Center? Response: Born together with Israel in 1948, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer is the largest and most comprehensive medical center in the Middle East. Sheba is the only medical center in Israel that combines an acute care hospital and a rehabilitation hospital on one campus, and it is at the forefront of medical treatments, patient care, research and education. As a university teaching hospital affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University, it welcomes people from all over the world indiscriminately. For the past two years (2019 and 2020), Newsweek Magazine has named Sheba one of the top ten hospitals in the world. MSR, the Israel Center for Medical Simulation at Sheba Medical Center, is the country’s only national multi-modality, interdisciplinary simulation center. Through MSR’s training courses, which can include sophisticated robotics, surgical simulators and role-playing actors, healthcare providers effectively improve their clinical and communication skills, creating a safer, more ethical, patient-centered culture of treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pharmaceutical Companies / 02.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Larry Schlesinger MD Professor, President and CEO Texas Biomed MedicalResearch.com: What is the background and mission of Texas Biomed? Response: Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed) is a not-for-profit, independent research institute with a strong history of pioneering, biomedical breakthroughs that have contributed to the world of science and human health for nearly 80 years. The Texas Biomed mission is to pioneer and share scientific breakthroughs that protect you, your families and our global community from the threat of infectious diseases. Texas Biomed is capitalizing on its strengths – outstanding collaborative scientists and unique assets and resources. Texas Biomed is home to the nation’s only privately-owned BSL4 facility, five fully outfitted BSL3 facilities with the latest technologies and the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC). The Institute focuses on a core understanding of the basic biology of infectious diseases, animal model development, and studies to move therapies and vaccines to human clinical trials. The Institute’s independent, nonprofit business model moves science from the bench to clinical trials faster and with less bureaucracy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NYU, Technology / 02.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Anasse Bari PhD Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science Department, New York University, New York, and Megan Coffee MD PhD Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Department of Medicine New York University, Department of Population and Family Health Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Coffee and Bari:  This work is led by NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, in partnership with Wenzhou Central Hospital and Cangnan People's Hospital, both in Wenzhou, China. This is a multi-disciplinary team with backgrounds in clinical infectious disease as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science. There is a critical need to better understand COVID-19. Doctors learn from collective and individual clinical experiences. Here, no clinician has years of experience. All are learning as they go, having to make important decisions about clinical management with stretched resources. The goal here is to augment clinical learning with machine learning. In particular, the goal is to allow clinicians to identify early who from the many infected will need close medical attention. Most patients will first develop mild symptoms, yet some 5-8 days later will develop critical illness. It is hard to know who these people are who will need to be admitted and may need to be intubated until they become ill. Knowing this earlier would allow more attention and resources to be spent on those patients with worse prognoses. If there were ever treatments in the future that could be used early in the course of illness, it would be important to identify who would most benefit We present in this study a first step in building an artificial intelligence (AI) framework, with predictive analytics (PA) capabilities applied to real patient data, to provide rapid clinical decision-making support. It is at this point a proof of concept that it could be possible to identify future severity based on initial presentation in COVID-19. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 02.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hongcui Cao, M.D. State Key Laboratory for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases The First Affiliated Hospital College of Medicine, Zhejiang University Hangzhou, China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The proportion of severe novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases has dropped significantly. Specifically, this number has decreased from 32.4% on January 28 to 21.6% in Wuhan and to 7.2% in other provinces of China on February. Measures such as strengthened medical support and centralized isolation greatly contributed to the improved circumstances, and laid a solid foundation for further enhancing the cure rate and reducing the mortality rate. However, there are still hundreds of severe patients dying every day. It is extremely important to make timely and efficient diagnosis and initiate treatment for severe patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 02.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Zhugen Yang Lecturer in Sensor Technology NERC Fellow School of Water, Energy and Environment Cranfield University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A recent outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection has spread rapidly around the globe. Some clinical cases have found that some carriers of the virus may be asymptomatic, with no fever, and no, or only slight symptoms of infection. Currently we have a constrained diagnostic testing capacity, Therefore wastewater analysis, also namely wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE), may offer another way to track the spread of the virus that causes the disease and identify the potential infections at the community. Wastewater-based epidemiology approach could provide an effective and rapid way to predict the potential spread of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) by picking up on biomarkers in faeces and urine from disease carriers that enter the sewer system. WBE is already recognised as an effective way to trace illicit drugs and obtain information on health, disease, and pathogens  (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 01.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fabian Sanchis-Gomar, MD, MSc, PhD Department of Medicine Stanford University Medical Center Stanford, California Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Valencia INCLIVA Biomedical Research Institute Valencia, Spain MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does the RAAS system interface with the COVID-19 virus? Response: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)2 is a functional receptor for coronaviruses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The exponential growth of contagion by the SARS-CoV-2 all around the world has contributed to raising speculations and concerns about whether two commonly used anti-hypertensive drugs, i.e., ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), have positive or negative effects in coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID-19”) patients with arterial hypertension on-going treatment with some of the former drugs. In effect, many professional health organizations have published statements claiming that there is not enough evidence to change the use of ACE-inhibitors or ARBs for the management of raised blood pressure (BP) in the context of avoiding or treating COVID-19 infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 31.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Carl Coleman, JD Professor of Law Seton Hall Law School MedicalResearch.com: Do health care workers have an ethical and/or legal obligation to provide treatment during an infectious disease outbreak? Are there exceptions such as pregnancy, if the health care worker is her/himself immunocompromised or have young children at home?   Response: As a legal matter, health care workers can generally be required to fulfill pre-existing employment or contractual obligations during an infectious disease outbreak.  For example, an emergency room nurse who refuses to come to work during a pandemic can be disciplined or fired; a physician who breaches a contractual obligation to provide on-call services during an outbreak can be held liable for damages.  In addition to loss of employment and contractual damages, other potential consequences for failing to honor pre-existing commitments during a pandemic could include professional discipline for patient abandonment and, for physicians with on-call responsibilities in hospital emergency departments, civil fines under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. This does not mean that health care workers are obligated to show up for work during a pandemic regardless of the circumstances.  For example, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, health care workers who are immunocompromised can ask for a "reasonable accommodation," such as the right to work remotely (if possible) or to take leave.  Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers with more than 50 employees must give workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off to care for a seriously ill immediate family member.  In addition, federal labor laws allow employees to refuse to work under "abnormally dangerous conditions," which might apply in situations where an employer fails to provide necessary protective equipment.  However, assuming protective equipment is available, it is not clear that an outbreak itself would be considered "abnormally dangerous," particularly in fields like emergency medicine, where exposure to contagious disease is always a foreseeable risk. In most states, health care workers without pre-existing employment or contractual obligations cannot be compelled to treat patients during a pandemic.  However, a few states have laws that authorize public health authorities to require health care professionals to work during public health emergencies.  I am not aware of any state that has invoked this authority so far. As for ethical obligations, in 2004, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared that "individual physicians have an obligation to provide urgent medical care during disasters," and that "this ethical obligation holds even in the face of greater than usual risks to their own safety, health or life."  Some academic ethicists have expressed similar views.  Common justifications for this position are that physicians "assumed the risk" of exposure to infectious diseases when they voluntarily committed themselves to the healing professions; that a "social contract" requires physicians to assume risks in exchange for their social status and privileges; and that individuals who are uniquely capable of providing life-saving care have an obligation to do so. However, I am not persuaded that all physicians -- let alone health care workers more generally -- have an ethical obligation to provide treatment when doing so involves significant risk.  A willingness to accept risk is not a condition of obtaining a medical license, nor is it part of the oaths that students commonly take at medical school graduation.  While I agree that physicians have ethical obligations to contribute to society, there are many ways they can fulfill these obligations without assuming personal health risks.  And even assuming that individuals who are in a unique position to provide life-saving care should normally do so, we generally do not expect people to rescue others from danger at significant risk to themselves.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NEJM / 28.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bin Cao, Yeming Wang, Guohui Fan, Lianghan Shang, Jiuyang Xu, DingyuZhang, Chen Wang on behalf of LOTUS-China Study Group China-Japan Friendship Hospital; Wuhan Jintinyan Hospital; Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Science  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the past two months, the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been spreading rapidly across the world. Science and technology is the most powerful weapon for human to fight against diseases, especially in such a pandemic setting. Seeking for effective antiviral medication is the most critical and urgent among the many scientific tasks in the pandemic. At the most critical moment in the fight against COVID-19, Chinese clinical scientists have stepped forward under extremely difficult research conditions to carry out clinical trials in antiviral treatment including lopinavir–ritonavir and remdesivir, in a swift, decisive and effective manner. These trials have attracted worldwide attention. Recently, the Lopinavir–ritonavir Trial for suppression of SARS-CoV-2 in China (LOTUS-China) has been completed, which, with great clinical significance, can provide strong evidence for the treatment of COVID-19 both in China and around the world. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lung Cancer / 27.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Amy C. Moore PhD Director of Science and Research GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer MedicalResearch.com: What is the mission of the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer? Response: GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer’s mission is to transform survivorship by  saving, extending, and improving the lives of those vulnerable, at risk, and diagnosed with lung cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Duke / 27.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rupesh Agrawal, MD Associate Professor Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Wasn't Dr Li Wenliang, the Chinese physician who first alerted his community of coronavirus an opthalmologist, with possible exposure to tears from this surgical work with glaucoma patients? Response: Since the start of the pandemic, there have been multiple reports which suggested the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via ocular fluids. As ophthalmologists, we come into close contact with tears on a daily basis during our clinical examination. Furthermore, many equipment in the clinic like the Goldman tonometer come into direct contact with such ocular fluids, providing a channel for viral transmission. The evidence, as of date, were mainly anecdotal reports included in newspaper articles and media interviews. We wanted to know if the virus can truly be found in tears, so we decided to embark on this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pharmaceutical Companies, Vaccine Studies / 17.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathalie Charland PhD Senior Director, Scientific and Medical Affairs Medicago  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We started to work on solutions as soon as we were able to obtain the appropriate genetic information for the new COVID-19. Medicago is committed to advancing therapeutics against life-threatening diseases worldwide.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 16.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sibaji Sarkar, Ph.D. Adj. Professor Quincy College, Quincy, Boston MA MBC College, Wellesley MA RC College, Boston, MA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: COVID-19 infection is spreading and nothing is out there now to stop it. Hopefully, vaccines will be made and will be useful but that may take months if not a year. Researchers are also testing the use of other anti-viral drugs. COVID-19 uses (angiotensin converting enzyme receptor 2) ACE2 on capillary membranes of lungs to attach and then enter by endocytosis. ACE and ACE2 are two different types of receptors. ACE inhibitors are regularly in use as blood pressure lowering drugs. Unfortunately, ACE inhibitors have very les affinity for ACE2. Theoretically, if COVID-19 and any ACE2 inhibitor share similar binding site on ACE2 or at least bind in close proximity, assuming the virus is a big particle, it should fully or partially block viral entry. That will reduce or delay disease progression. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cynthia Liu,  Ph.D. Manager, Scientific Information CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society Columbus, OH 43210 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The outbreak of COVID-19 caused by the new virus SARS-CoV-2 has overwhelmed the health systems in many countries and been declared by WHO as a pandemic which will continue to affect global public health and world economy. This threat calls for an intensified effort in the development of therapeutic agents and vaccines. CAS is a not-for-profit division of the American Chemical Society that specializes in scientific information solutions. Our team includes hundreds of scientists that build a global data collection of curated scientific content from both journal articles and patent applications as well as chemical and biological substance collections. With this report, our team hopes to support the efforts of R&D organizations seeking to address this crisis by providing an up-to-date overview of recent relevant publications and insight into potential therapeutic agents, including both small molecules and biologics. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, CT Scanning, Global Health, Medical Imaging, RRS_Radiology / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Soheil Kooraki  MSR MS, MD on behalf of Dr. Ali Gholamrezanezhad MD and co-authors Department of Radiological Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles Los Angeles, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: COVID19 is a novel strain of the coronavirus family causing pneumonia. Two similar strains were discovered in 2003 and 2012 to cause the so-called SARS and MERS outbreaks, respectively. Radiologists need to be prepared for the escalating incidence of COVID-19. We reviewed the literature to extract the epidemiologic and imaging features of SARS and MERS in comparison with known imaging features of COVID-19 pneumonia to have a better understanding of the imaging features of the COVID19 pneumonia in acute and post-recovery stages. (more…)