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University Hospital beginning coronavirus therapy trial

The trial is a partnership with local company Athersys, and looks at treatment options for ARDS, the leading cause of death in coronavirus patients.

CLEVELAND — University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center has begun a new trial to test a therapy for the leading cause of death in coronavirus patients, the hospital system announced in a press release.

The hospital has partnered with local company Athersys to administer the MACOVIA trial. 

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the leading cause of death in coronavirus patients, according to the World Health Organization. This trial will test how well MultiStem therapy treats the syndrome, specifically in this case whether it can keep coronavirus patients off ventilators. 

"We are hopeful that MultiStem can provide a meaningful therapeutic benefit to critically ill patients with COVID-19 induced ARDS," Athersys' Dr. Anthony Ting said in a press release.  

Athersys got FDA approval for the study back in mid-April. Now, UH will be selecting eligible patients to participate. 

"Progressing from an FDA authorization to a site activation in just a few weeks is a tremendous achievement," Ting said. "This was only possible due to the diligent effort performed by UH Cleveland and its dedicated staff."

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