Big Island Coronavirus Updates

UH Seeks Participants for COVID Treatment Study

September 20, 2020, 10:26 AM HST
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The University of Hawaiʻi continues to seek participants for an ongoing coronavirus study.

UH’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) COVID-19 clinical trial is seeking individuals who were recently diagnosed with the virus to participate in a 21-day study. Participants will be placed on either a placebo (sugar pill) or telmisartan, a medication commonly used for blood pressure control.

The purpose of the study is to help find an effective treatment for patients with COVID-19. Researchers hope to find preliminary evidence that taking telmisartan will prevent many of the harmful effects of the virus.

Researchers will test the hypothesis that much of the dangerous lung and heart effects of COVID-19 is caused by the virus’s ability to dysregulate the delicate balance in a hormone system in the human body called the renin angiotensin system. Telmisartan lowers blood pressure by blocking the harmful effects to this hormone system.

Researchers say it is an advantage that telmisartan is already FDA-approved and many of the safety concerns of this drug are already known.


A team of JABSOM researchers is behind the study, led by Cecilia Shikumuma, professor of medicine and lead investigator. Participants will be closely monitored by experienced nurses and doctors, UH said in a press release.


The study is ongoing until all spots have been filled. Participants can be seen for the study right outside their homes if there is a safe place to be seen, or they can come for study visits right outside the JABSOM clinic.

Participants will be paid $40 per study visit for a total of four visits ($160).

In addition to taking medications for 21 days, participants will be asked to monitor their temperatures and blood pressures at home. The study will draw blood and obtain self-administered nasal swabs during study visits.


For more information and to sign up for the study, contact Cris Milne at (808) 692-1335 or email [email protected]. Those interested may also visit the website.

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