COVID-19 Research and Innovation

Brigham Health is a powerhouse for research and innovation — and now, the full might of that power is being used to address the most urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research community is working tirelessly to better understand the virus that causes COVID-19 in order to develop strategies to treat and prevent infection. Brigham researchers are working together on innovative solutions to help their clinical colleagues, COVID-19 patients and the world beyond on our walls.

With expertise that spans basic, translational and clinical research, our community is poised to make an impact. In March, the Brigham took the difficult, but necessary, step of temporarily closing its research laboratories to help reduce transmission of COVID-19 in our society. But this didn’t stop research teams from innovating. For two months, investigators conducted their work remotely and labs performing essential functions, including COVID-19 research, continued their critical work. Now, as Brigham Research ramps back up, our research community is well positioned to continue its mission to transform human health and disease, including COVID-19.

For decades, the Brigham has been a leader in clinical research studies to advance patient care. Now, we are building on that legacy through clinical trials to find possible treatments for patients with COVID-19.

COVID-19 Clinical Trials

To provide the most advanced care to our patients, the Brigham is enrolling eligible, admitted patients with COVID-19 in clinical trials of new treatments. Currently, there are no approved therapies for COVID-19.

In late July 2020 our research team, led by Lindsey Baden, MD, MMSc, direct of Clinical Research in the Division of Infectious Diseases, will begin recruitment for a phase 3, placebo-controlled, COVID-19 vaccine trial as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Operation Warp Speed program. In this first trial, the Brigham will serve as one of the 90 test centers and the only one in New England. It is the first of several vaccine trails expected to launch in the coming weeks and months. 

The study seeks to enroll 30,000 people nationally. The Brigham team is working to ensure participants at greatest risk of acquiring COVID-19 — due to age, underlying conditions, location or other circumstances — have an equitable opportunity to participate.

More information is available at clincialtrials.gov and bit.ly/covidvax

The Brigham has several clinical trials that are underway. For a list of active therapeutic COVID-19 clinical research studies, please visit the Center for Clinical Investigation website. This list will be updated as new clinical research studies begin.

Related resources:

Brigham Research Institute: Understanding COVID-19

Why do some people with COVID-19 get severely sick while others have mild symptoms? Are there drugs that could help reduce the side effects of antiviral medications? How does our immune system respond to the virus? What signals might the virus leave behind in the blood of patients who’ve recovered? Can we design a vaccine to prevent not only infection from the current strain of coronavirus, but also future strains? These are just a few of the questions researchers from the Brigham Research Institute (BRI) are investigating. Understanding how the new virus causes its devastating effects could help us better fight and prevent infection.

The BRI’s overarching mission is to accelerate discoveries that improve human health by fostering groundbreaking research that spans departments and disciplines. With support from the BRI, new collaborations are forming as researchers come together to tackle COVID-19.

Related resource:

Mass General Brigham Center for COVID Innovation (MGBCCI)

Together with colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Brigham research community is rapidly developing new innovations to protect frontline clinical staff across the Mass General Brigham community and beyond. Our research communities have launched the Mass General Brigham Center for COVID Innovation (MGBCCI).

The center is responding directly to the most pressing needs that face our health care workers. Investigators are prototyping and testing new kinds of personal protective equipment (PPE), including personal protective booths, patient isolation hoods, alternative versions of respirators, face masks, face shields and nasal swabs. The center is also developing better testing to help diagnose patients with COVID-19 as well as those who’ve recovered. And Brigham investigators are working toward new treatment and prevention strategies.

The MGBCCI has four main areas of focus: devices, diagnostics, therapeutics and data, with each of these efforts in various stages of development. The public is welcome to get involved and join working groups.

Related resources:

Thank You To Our COVID-19 Supporters

We are grateful to our generous donors for helping us care for patients and families, protect our staff on the frontlines, and fuel innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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