Assessing evidence for potential treatments for COVID-19
To aid in the fight against COVID-19, Nova Scotia researchers joined forces on the COVID Victory Study, or CO-VIC Study, to evaluate the effectiveness of existing medications and new therapies to treat COVID-19.
Led by Dr. Lisa Barrett, an Infectious Diseases Physician with Nova Scotia Health and a Professor at -Dalhousie University, the CO-VIC Study tests possible treatments while monitoring their effects on hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Nova Scotia.
The CO-VIC study is taking a real-world, pragmatic and adaptive approach, which means that it needs to evolve as the scientific and medical communities across the globe learn about more COVID-19. With new information appearing rapidly, it can be difficult to keep track of it all—a task that the MSSU was well-placed to support.
Early on in the project, MSSU Evidence Synthesis Coordinator, Leah Boulos, started supporting the study by producing background summaries on potential COVID-19 treatments.
The summaries focus on existing medications that are being investigated in different parts of the world for their potential to treat the virus. To create the summaries, Boulos pulls data from various sources and compiles all available information into a brief single document, helping the investigators determine which treatments to test as a part of their study.
“In the face of rapidly emerging and changing evidence related to COVID-19, Leah Boulos supported the investigator team by quickly developing evidence summaries for current and new investigational medications. Her knowledge in evidence synthesis and navigating databases provided a snapshot of the latest COVID-19 data from a broad spectrum of sources and highlighted relevant studies with a focused approach,” said Barbara Goodall, CO-VIC Study Coordinator.
“These summaries built capacity for maintaining investigator and study team COVID-19 knowledge in an environment that is constantly evolving.”
To date, Boulos has produced six summaries, a good example of how the MSSU is able to support local COVID-19 research.
“The breakneck pace of evidence creation during the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. It can feel daunting to try and keep up with it all, but searching for and sorting through this kind of information is what I love to do,” said Boulos.
“It’s been a great experience supporting the CO-VIC team, which is doing invaluable work responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in our home communities.”