The Novo Nordisk Foundation supports trial using anti-inflammatory medicine to help people with COVID-19

The Novo Nordisk Foundation supports trial using anti-inflammatory medicine to help people with COVID-19

25 Mar 2020

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded a grant of DKK 5 million for a project that will enable hospitals in Denmark to investigate whether anti-inflammatory treatment with adrenocorticotropic hormone can help people with COVID-19.

Grant recipient Anders Perner, Professor and Senior Staff Specialist, Intensive Therapy Clinic, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, explains that the experience from intensive care patients with septicaemia or acute respiratory failure shows that a low dose of adrenocorticotropic hormone can reduce an acute inflammatory reaction in the lungs. For the patients with COVID-19, this steroid treatment with adrenocorticotropic hormone may shorten the time required to be on a respirator and in intensive care and may also improve survival.

“This grant will enable us to investigate whether low-dose steroid therapy can improve survival and reduce the number of days patients need intensive care. At a time when the COVID-19 epidemic is putting Denmark’s hospitals and intensive care units under maximum pressure, effective treatment can be crucial for improving outcomes for individual patients and the entire healthcare system,” says Anders Perner, who emphasizes that reducing each patient’s time in a respirator by one day can increase a hospital’s intensive care capacity by 10%.

The trial will be conducted in Denmark’s intensive care units and departments of infectious diseases after the relevant public authorities approve it. Anders Perner and his colleagues are currently working at full speed to obtain the necessary permits so that they can begin enrolling patients in the trial at all participating hospitals. The ambition is to enrol 1000 patients in the trial, which is expected to start mid-April. The data will be analysed on an ongoing basis to quickly determine whether steroid therapy is helping these patients and to identify any unforeseen side-effects.

Read more about the project at Rigshospitalet (currently only in Danish).

Further information

Christian Mostrup, Senior Programme Lead,, +45 3067 4805