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IU School of Medicine selected to participate in major Phase 3 COVID-19 clinical trial

Exterior view of University Hospital at IUPUI on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – IU School of Medicine is searching for 1,500 volunteers to take part in the third and final phase of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine clinical trial. 

The School of Medicine is one of 81 sites across the country chosen to participate in what scientists hope will be the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also the only site selected by the biopharmaceutical company in the entire state of Indiana. 

“Throughout this pandemic, our doctors and researchers have been on the frontlines, working to treat those suffering from COVID-19 and investigating ways to stop the spread,” Dr. Jay L. Hess, dean of IU School of Medicine and IU’s executive vice president for university clinical affairs, said in a statement. “Never has that work been more important and our leadership continues with this crucial study taking place right here in Indianapolis. 

If the vaccine, AZD1222, is proven safe and effective Indiana residents will have played a critical role in history by aiding in this potential scientific breakthrough, Hess added.  

Dr. Cynthia Brown, who specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine, will lead the research team. 

“This research is important for Indiana University, but it’s also important for our community and our state to have this opportunity to participate,” Brown said. “We are looking for 1,500 people to participate in Indiana, but there are going to be 30,000 people in the United States participating in the trial. So, we’re just doing our part to try to find an effective vaccine so that we can all have something that will work against this coronavirus so we can start to regain our lives again.”

AstraZeneca, in collaboration with Oxford University, have been working fast and furiously to develop a vaccine. Health officials across the nation say the AZD1222 is the most promising vaccination to date based on previously published data. Once the late-stage clinical trial is completed, it can be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and distributed to the public. The federal government secured 300 million doses of ASD1222 as part of a $1.2 billion deal with AstraZeneca back in May as part of Operation Warp Speed

To register as a volunteer, click here.

News 8’s medical reporter, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Gillis, D.Ed., is a classically trained medical physiologist and biobehavioral research scientist. She has been a health, medical and science reporter for over 5 years. Her work has been featured in national media outlets. You can follow her on Instagram @reportergillis and Facebook @DrMaryGillis.

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