The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre has launched a new clinical trial that uses inhaled nitric oxide to treat coronavirus patients.

Researchers are administrating continuously pulsed inhaled nitric oxide via a Bellerophon INOpulse® delivery system to prevent the progression of the virus in patients with mild to moderate coronavirus-related pneumonia.

The targeted treatment is given to patients who require oxygen but before a ventilator is needed to support breathing.

“There’s a greater likelihood of death among COVID-19 patients with pneumonia who are placed on a ventilator,” said Dr. Sitaramesh Emani, Principal Investigator, Cardiologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre.

“If we can treat patients with inhaled nitric oxide before they come so ill that they require a ventilator, we believe we can improve patient outcomes and reserve ventilators and hospital resources for the sickest patients.”

The INOpulse technology uses high concentration pulses of nitric oxide to provide a precise and constant does regardless of a patient’s breathing pattern. The delivery of the system is compact and can be worn on a belt or wristband.

“Traditionally, inhaled nitric oxide treatments use bulky canisters that require patients to remain in the hospital during treatment,” explains Dr. Raymond Benza, Co-Principal Investigator, Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Bob and Corrine Frick Chair for Heart Failure at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre.

“As the patients in this trial improve, this novel delivery system will allow them to continue inhaled nitric oxide treatment at home, reducing their time in the hospital and limiting their exposure as they recover.”

Patients are admitted to the trial via individual patient expanded access, as approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They will receive treatment for a minimum of five days and up to two weeks if needed. Patients will be followed for four weeks to assess how they respond to the treatment.