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COVID-19 Research and Innovation

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has long been a powerhouse for research and innovation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the full might of that power has been used to address the most urgent issues affecting patients, providers and the community.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Brigham has worked tirelessly to better understand the virus that causes COVID-19 in order to develop strategies to treat and prevent infection. Brigham researchers have collaborated to develop innovative solutions to help their clinical colleagues, COVID-19 patients and the world beyond on our walls.

In March, the Brigham temporarily closed its research laboratories to help reduce transmission of COVID-19. But this didn’t stop research teams from innovating. For months, investigators conducted their work remotely and labs that performed essential functions, including COVID-19 research, continued their critical work. Since research at the Brigham has ramped back up, our research community is well positioned to continue its mission to transform human health and disease, including COVID-19.

COVID-19 Clinical Trials

For decades, the Brigham has been a leader in clinical research studies to advance patient care. We built on that legacy during the pandemic by serving as a site for clinical trials to find possible treatments for patients with COVID-19.

Brigham investigators tested a wide range of therapeutics to treat COVID-19. The Brigham was one of multiple sites around the world for two Phase 3 clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of remdesivir among adults hospitalized with COVID-19.

In April of 2020, leadership at the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) chose Lindsey Baden, MD, director of the Brigham’s Center for Clinical Investigation (CCI), as the co-principal investigator of an mRNA Phase 3 vaccine trial to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine and its ability to prevent COVID-19 illness.

The Brigham team worked to ensure participants at greatest risk of acquiring COVID-19 — due to age, underlying conditions, location or other circumstances — had an equitable opportunity to participate.

The mRNA-1273 trial was the first Phase 3 trial in the U.S. to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against COVID-19. The Brigham was the only New England hospital to serve as a site in the trial. Phase 3 results showed that the mRNA-1273 vaccine is 94.5 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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