Benefit of valsartan In corona infection
In this project, a collaboration of Radboud university medical center, Netherlands Heart Institute and Novartis intends to study if valsartan can prevent acute lung injury in COVID-19 infection.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has a high burden of morbidity and mortality due to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). According to the RIVM, may 20th, 5.748 have died with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, while the CBS reports increase of death between march 9th and may 10th of nearly 9000 persons. The scale of the present pandemic and regulation in order to control it have a huge impact on our society and economy, with a decrease in BBP of 1,7 procent, while an efficient therapy is lacking.
Angiotensin-II is a protein that plays a role in the development of acute lung injury in patients suffering from COVID-19 infection. Valsartan is a well-known, cheap drug in cardiovascular medicine with little side effects that blocks Angiotensin-II. We will randomise 651 patients hospitalised for SARS-CoV-2 infection in a double blind manner into valsartan vs placebo in order to investigate whether those randomised to valsartan will suffer less from ICU admission, mechanical ventilation or death compared to those receiving placebo.
For the first time observational and mechanistical studies will be translated into clinical practice and test whether ARBs potentially correct this disbalance and protect against ARDS. This is of uttermost importance since 1) ARBs such as valsartan are widely available, 2) have only little side-effects which are well known and studied since their implementation 30 years ago, and 3) are cheap (i.e. 20 cents per day) so even the smallest effect will be cost-effective in the present pandemic burden.