Loretto Partners with Clarity Clinical Research to test new COVID-19 drug for seniors

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Loretto took early action at the start of the pandemic to protect our community’s most vulnerable population — an effort that resulted in less than 1% of residents testing positive for the virus.

Now looking forward to future protection against COVID-19, Clarity Clinical Research is working with Loretto to launch a clinical trial with an investigational treatment for people who were exposed (or potentially exposed) to COVID-19 to test the medication’s ability to reduce the risk of becoming infected for those living in long term care facilities.

The drug is a post-exposure prophylactic and the active ingredient, Nitazoxanide, is already approved by the FDA for acute viral respiratory illnesses.

“Nitazoxanide has been used to treat an estimated 400 million people worldwide. This means we already know the safety performance and side effects of this drug,” says Lisa Sonneborn, MA, LMHC, Site Director for Clarity Clinical Research. Clarity Clinical Research in East Syracuse is one of only two sites statewide leading this study.

“The benefit of this study is that it only requires one person to test positive for COVID-19,because that allows Clarity Clinical Research to open up participation in this trial with all residents at the facility who may have been exposed to the individual who tested positive,” says Julie Sheedy, Chief Marketing & Engagement Officer at Loretto. “Eligibility does not require every participant to test positive for COVID-19.”

The study is being offered exclusively to qualifying Loretto residents at The Bernardine, Sedgwick Heights, Buckley Landing, and The Nottingham.

“Residents at these facilities tend to have the highest levels of independence and can meet the study’s requirements, including making medical decisions and diary keeping,” Sheedy says.

This is one of many studies the clinical research company in East Syracuse offers. Clarity has been a leader in Alzheimer’s and dementia research, focusing on evaluating treatments to slow or stop the progression of memory loss. The research clinic has found new and innovative ways to continue enrolling patients into Alzheimer’s trials despite the challenges caused by COVID-19. Using telehealth and virtual memory screening, Clarity has long supported national trials in the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to partnering with Clarity Clinical Research to offer innovative trials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Loretto has also partnered with other companies that offer groundbreaking technology to keep its residents safe and healthy.

Loretto has had a long partnership with ImagineMIC, a health-monitoring device that tracks a person’s vital signs and other important health indicators 24/7. The health data is collected and monitored by a team of physicians and medical staff 24 hours a day. Participants of the telehealth device have access to that team of medical professionals around the clock.

In April, Loretto rolled out MonitorMe, a second-generation health-monitoring device also made by ImagineMIC. To date, close to 100 Loretto residents and program participants have enrolled in these two telehealth programs and the results are overwhelmingly positive.

COVID-19 has certainly changed the way healthcare providers care for patients. Loretto is committed to offering new technology and forging new partnerships, while Clarity Clinical Research continues to be on the cutting edge of offering innovative studies that benefit our community. Their individual efforts and their partnership will help keep our most vulnerable population safe and healthy.