Tulsa’s St. John Hospital Says It Is First In Oklahoma To Begin Research Trial For COVID-19 Treatment


Friday, March 27th 2020, 2:08 pm


A Tulsa hospital hopes it can be part of a solution to treat COVID-19.

Ascension St. John said it is the first hospital in Oklahoma to begin a clinical research trial for a treatment.

Taking part in this trial isn't for anyone. Patients must have a positive test for COVID-19, be in the St. John hospital, and be severely or critically sick.

Ascension St. John said it's prepared to confront the pandemic in a new way.

"I think we have the situation very much under control at this point,” Dr. Anuj Malik said.

Related Story - Oklahoma Boy Continues Waiting For New Kidney Because Of Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Dr. Malik is an infectious disease specialist, and the main investigator on the trial.

He said St. John has a "robust research team" with a lot of experience, which is why he believes it was chosen to take part in the trial.

The drug being used on some COVID-19 patients is called Sarilumab. The hospital said it's an anti-inflammatory drug usually prescribed for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers hope it can also decrease inflammation in the lungs, because people with COVID-19 are at risk of developing life-threatening respiratory failure. 

St. John said in a news release the drug showed promise during a small-scale study in China earlier this year.

"We know the safety information about it. We know, also, what the potential and expected side effects are,” Dr. Malik said.

The hospital wants to contribute information from about 100 Tulsa patients over time. Dr. Malik has a cautiously optimistic outlook for the trial.

"We should maintain cautious optimism and keep hope and faith that things will get better."

There are a handful of other hospitals across the country taking part in this trial, too. The goal is to have a total of about 400 COVID-19 patients try the drug.

","published":"2020-03-27T19:08:46.000Z","updated":"2020-03-27T19:08:48.000Z","summary":"A Tulsa hospital hopes it can be part of a solution to treat COVID-19. Ascension St. John said it is the first hospital in Oklahoma to begin a clinical research trial for a treatment.","affiliate":{"_id":"5c784a0c4961cb23ad330098","callSign":"kotv","origin":"https://www.newson6.com"},"contentClass":"news","createdAt":"2020-03-29T23:03:01.637Z","updatedAt":"2020-05-14T07:40:42.712Z","__v":5,"show":true,"link":"/story/5e812925f8fa0706aa20b1b9/tulsas-st-john-hospital-says-it-is-first-in-oklahoma-to-begin-research-trial-for-covid19-treatment","hasSchedule":false,"id":"5e812925f8fa0706aa20b1b9"};