Markers that predict risks for developing chronic respiratory disease after COVID-19
The COVID-19 extension of P4O2 aims to find those ex-COVID-19 patients who need extra attention to prevent the development of chronic lung disease. Precision Medicine for more Oxygen (P4O2) aims to identify factors and strategies to prevent progression of early stage lung damage and to reverse established lung damage by stimulating repair. This only became more important with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the broad consortium we had recently built (research organizations, pharma, imaging and data analysis companies, patient representatives and more) was eager to contribute to research that might prevent long-term consequences of COVID-19.
Lung Foundation Netherlands indicated that ~three months after the first symptoms of the virus, a large proportion of corona patients that were not hospitalized still had serious complaints. Almost 50% reported that they can no longer exercise, and more than 6 in 10 even have problems walking. It is likely that those who were hospitalised will also suffer from long-term consequences. The aim is to find biomarkers to identify patients that will suffer from these symptoms for a long time and to find (leads for) useful interventions. This will have a large impact on the quality of life of these individual patients and on the economy through health care costs and participation in the economy.
This COVID-19 extension includes detailed biological analyses in ex-patients, environmental research, laboratory studies, and testing of a treatment that might prevent chronic complaints. Combining these different fields is innovative and big data approaches (that have significantly improved over the last few years) ensure that patterns in the data and groups will be found.
This project aims to increase the mechanistic understanding of factors leading to chronic COVID-19 complaints, to identify biomarkers for predicting severity and phenotypes of chronic COVID-19, and to develop novel methods for diagnosis and treatment of chronic COVID-19.