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Piedmont Healthcare launches 2 clinical trials to study COVID-19 breathing therapies

The two new clinical trials are being called a possible silver lining.

ATLANTA — Peidmont Healthcare is leading a new effort aimed at lessening the impact of a patient's ability to breathe while battling COVID-19.

Dr. Amy Case, medical director of pulmonary and critical care research with Piedmont Healthcare, called two new clinical trials a possible silver lining.

The first trial is called "breathe." Researchers plan to use the drug Gimsilumab to target lung inflammation, which can flare up in severe COVID-19 cases. The goal of that trial is to decrease the instances of inflammation and minimize damage to the lungs. 

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In the second trail, called Apex-19, the non-drug treatment would seek to improve breathing function by having patients lay on their stomachs during parts of the day to help increase their oxygen levels. 

The goal of the two trials, Case said, is two-fold - to get immediate help to those who need it now, and to continue the research beyond the pandemic to help in the future. 

"What I really hope is that the things that we've learned and the coordination and collaboration that we've been able to bring to this crisis will extend beyond Covid-19 to help people with other illnesses that we research on the other side of this crisis," she said.

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Right now, the studies are limited to patients in the hospital. Piedmont is reviewing those who fit the criteria to take part. 

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

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