Mayo Clinic Researchers Double Down on COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the globe, Mayo Clinic researchers are racing to find treatments for this deadly disease. At the same time, they're working to develop a vaccine to prevent infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and reduce its devastating effects.
With the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths rising with each day, there is perhaps no more pressing need in medicine than to identify safe and effective therapies to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections and to lessen the severity of the resulting COVID-19 respiratory illness.
Mayo Clinic COVID-19 research task force
The Mayo Clinic COVID-19 research task force coordinates all Mayo Clinic's pandemic-related research activities, from basic lab and in vitro experiments to clinical trials of experimental and supportive interventions. In particular, the task force:
- Catalogs all COVID-19 studies and prioritizes potentially competing studies
- Works with the Institutional Review Board, the Office of Clinical Trials, the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, the biosafety team, and pharmacy services to ensure efficient and smooth initiation and execution of studies
- Ensures the optimal allocation of resources such as biospecimens, drugs and personal protective equipment
- Protects the safety and well-being of patients, staff and research volunteers
The task force also collaborates with external companies to access experimental therapeutics to be studied in the research setting.
Clinical trials, biobanks and registries
There is currently only one drug (hydroxychloroquine) that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating COVID-19. All other interventions are considered experimental. Observational studies and registry information will help researchers better understand the disease.
Active clinical trials
Mayo Clinic researchers are working to find ways to better diagnose, treat and prevent the spread of the disease.
Find studies related to COVID-19.
Clinical trials in development
Mayo Clinic is actively working with pharmaceutical partners to use off-label investigational new drugs, such as antivirals, interleukin-6 inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers. Other studies include remote monitoring and vaccine development.
Physicians choosing to use these trials will add their patients to the registries used to track and measure results. Mayo Clinic experts in virology will ensure safety and measure success.
To enable high-quality research, Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 research repository prospectively collects biospecimens and corresponding clinical and patient-provided data from patients who have confirmed infection with the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Mayo Clinic is amassing registries that will guide future research and treatment. An option that treatments team may choose to adopt is off-label prescribing of medications not currently approved to treat COVID-19. Those patients are enrolled in the Off-Label COVID-19 Treatment Registry. Other registries being built by Mayo Clinic include a catalog of patients who are at high risk of COVID-19 but have not been infected and a registry of suspected, but unconfirmed, COVID-19 cases.
Other research activities
Other active research supporting COVID-19 testing and patient care includes:
- Assay development — developing and testing a new serology test for SARS-CoV-2
- Artificial intelligence — improving time to diagnosis, remotely monitoring patients recovering at home, and predicting the course of regional outbreaks to better equip health care staff and facilities
- Community engagement — understanding how the epidemic is affecting communities and understanding how stakeholders feel about Mayo Clinic's research priorities and flow of information
- Reducing the infectiousness of viruses on environmental surfaces — studying how to treat masks, personal protective equipment and instruments used in patient care
Learn more about COVID-19 research at Mayo Clinic