UM researchers receive provincial funding for COVID-19 studies
The provincial government has announced $5 million in funding for research related to COVID-19, including $3.5 million for clinical and applied research. As much as $700,000 will go to clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, based at UM.
In a story on CBC, Dr. Ryan Zarychanski, in internal medicine at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, explained:
“[Hydroxychloroquine has] gotten a lot of press because of a little bit of decrees that have occurred south of the border,” Zarychanski said. “But we do not know if these drugs are effective, if they’re worth our investment, and if they’re safe to give to everyone.”
So far there have been 500 volunteers for the current trial, Zarychanski said, and results of the drug’s effects on early disease should be ready in “the next few weeks.”
In addition, the Manitoba government is allocating $500,000 of new research money to “industry and philanthropic sources” in support of other research trials based in Manitoba that are in partnership with other institutions, including vaccine studies around the world. Also, another $1 million is going towards the development of diagnostic tools and other related projects.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen said the funding will help contribute to the world’s understanding of the virus and make important strides towards vaccines, treatments, and possible changes to how our health-care system operates, to better combat COVID-19.