Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre joins Montreal Heart Institute to evaluate potential treatment against COVID-19

MONTREAL and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) Research Center today announced a strategic partnership with the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre (VIDC) in Vancouver, British Colombia, for its COVID-19 clinical study to evaluate whether colchicine will have an effect on reducing the rate of hospitalization of individuals recently diagnosed with COVID-19. We hypothesize that it will do so by preventing the phenomenon of major inflammatory storm that may be responsible for severe complications related to COVID-19.

The clinical study, named COLCORONA, involves the recruitment of approximately 6,000 participants who will be followed for 30 days with initial results available a few days after study completion. COLCORONA was initiated on March 23, 2020 at the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada by Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the Research Center at MHI and Professor of Medicine at the University of Montreal. Dr. Tardif is now partnering with Dr. Brian Conway, MD, FRCPC, President and Medical Director of VIDC, and Dr. David Truong, MD, FRCPC, to offer British Columbians the opportunity to include themselves in this innovative protocol. As of today, British Columbia has over 1,200 people who are known to be COVID-19 positive. Dr. Tardif and the MHI are working to also bring this clinical trial to other regions as soon as possible. This is one of the few current studies of COVID-19 infection in which non-hospitalized individuals can participate.

The participant eligibility criteria for the study is as follows:

  • Test positive for COVID-19
  • Be 40 years and over
  • Not hospitalized
  • Be willing to take the drug or placebo daily for 30 days
  • Be willing to participate in two follow-up calls by phone or videoconference.

Women who do not take contraceptives, those who are pregnant, or those who are breastfeeding are not eligible for the clinical study. Physicians with patients, or people with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis who are interested in participating in the clinical study, can call the hotline any time at 1-877-536-6837.

COLCORONA is coordinated by the Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Center (MHICC), funded by the Government of Quebec, and supported by Pharmascience and CGI.

The COLCORONA study is now recruiting Canadian patients through the Montreal Heart Institute in Quebec and the VIDC in British Columbia, and in New York through the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, New York, United States.

For more information on COLCORONA clinical trial, visit www.colcorona.org

About Colchicine
Colchicine is a generic, orally administered anti-inflammatory medication that is currently indicated for the management of pericarditis, gout, and familial Mediterranean fever. Colchicine was recently studied in the COLCOT study (published in the New England Journal of Medicine), which compared colchicine 0.5mg daily to placebo on top of standard of care in preventing ischemic cardiovascular events in patients with a recent myocardial infarction (MI).

About the Montreal Heart Institute
Founded in 1954, the Montreal Heart Institute constantly aims for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in clinical and basic research, ultra-specialized care, professional training, and prevention. It houses the largest research center in Canada, the largest cardiovascular prevention center in the country, and a cardiovascular genetics center. The Institute is affiliated with the University of Montreal and has more than 2,000 employees, including 245 doctors and more than 85 researchers.

About the Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Center (MHICC):
The Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Center (MHICC) is a leading academic clinical research organization and an integral part of the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI). The MHICC possesses an established network of collaborators in over 4,500 clinical sites in more than 30 countries. It has specific expertise in precision medicine, low-cost high-quality clinical trials, and drug repurposing.

About Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre (VIDC)  
Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre (VIDC) is a research and medical centre that delivers specialty healthcare and expert, state-of-the-art diagnosis, and treatment of chronic infectious diseases, with an emphasis on HCV and HIV. VIDC also provides specialized addiction and pain management care. Services are provided in both English and French. Through innovative models of intervention, VIDC particularly seeks to engage vulnerable patients in health care within a multidisciplinary model favoring long-term engagement in care. VIDC staff provide peer-friendly education about disease, novel antiviral medications (often available only within research protocols), and comprehensive support during and after treatment.

About Pharmascience
Founded in 1983, Pharmascience Inc. is the largest pharmaceutical employer in Quebec. With its head office located in Montreal and its 1,500 employees, Pharmascience Inc. is a private, full-service pharmaceutical company with deep roots in Canada, and whose global reach is growing, in part thanks to the distribution of its products in more than 60 countries. Ranked 56th among the top 100 Canadian investors in research and development (R&D) thanks to $ 43 million investment in 2018, Pharmascience Inc. is the 4th largest manufacturer of over-the-counter generic drugs in the country. www.pharmascience.com

About CGI
Founded in 1976, CGI is one of the world's largest information technology (IT) and management consulting firms. From hundreds of locations around the world, CGI offers a complete portfolio of services and solutions: strategic IT and management consulting services, systems integration services, intellectual property solutions as well as IT and business process management services in delegated mode. www.cgi.com/canada

Source: Montreal Heart Institute

Media inquiries:

For Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre (VIDC)
Clare Evans
clare.evans@iriscommunication.net
+1 403-888-6869

For Montreal Heart Institute:
Camille Turbide
Camille.turbide@gmail.com
+1 514 755 5354

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