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Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) is one of more than a dozen research sites nationwide participating in the multi-center trial of IC14, an anti-CD14 monoclonal antibody that drug researchers hope will reduce dangerous levels of inflammation in COVID-19 patients.

IC14 targets an immune system protein called CD14, which helps immune cells detect and fight bacteria, viruses or other pathogens that attack human cells. CD14 has the unusual ability to amplify the body’s inflammatory responses in a variety of sites, and in a viral disease such as Covid-19, trigger excessive inflammation—called a “cytokine storm”—that quickly can cascade to multiple organ failure and death.

Sponsored and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study will enroll between 300 and 350 hospitalized adults over the next several months. Over the course of four days, half of the patients will receive the IC14 monoclonal antibody and half a placebo. All participants also will receive standard medical care, including antiviral therapy with remdesivir. The main goal of the study is to determine whether treatment with IC14 decreases the time it takes people with Covid-19 respiratory disease to recover to the point that they no longer need ongoing medical care in the hospital. Results are expected in early 2022.

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