In a retrospective study of patients tested for COVID-19, researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine found an association between vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of becoming infected with coronavirus disease.“Vitamin D is important to the function of the immune system and vitamin D supplements have previously been shown to lower the risk of viral respiratory tract infections,” said David Meltzer, MD, PhD, Chief of Hospital Medicine at UChicago Medicine and lead author of the study. “Our statistical analysis suggests this may be true for the COVID-19 infection.
”The research team looked at 499 UChicago Medicine patients whose vitamin D level was measured within a year before being tested for COVID-19. Patients who had vitamin D deficiency that was not treated were almost twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 compared to patients who had sufficient levels of the vitamin.
With COVID-19 Test Tubes in Shortage, Coca-Cola Bottlers Offer a Solution
A group of independent soda bottle manufacturers working for Coca-Cola has pivoted to help produce the test tubes needed for COVID-19 diagnostic kits. The efforts include a collaboration between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to address this particular gap. The coronavirus pandemic and a skyrocketing demand for diagnostics have strained nearly every piece of the supply chain—from the chemical reagents for processing the virus’s genetic material to the one-piece nasal swabs used to collect samples, as well as sterile containers for transport.
Finding this particular solution took a little luck. Before being heated, shaped and blown into their iconic curves, Coca-Cola bottles begin life as a simple, nondescript, mass-produced plastic tube—which happens to be the perfect size for holding a swab.“Through a personal connection and discussions with Coca-Cola Consolidated, we determined the preform that goes into a blow molding machine to make Coca-Cola bottles looked exactly like the test tube needed for the COVID-19 testing kits,” said Lonnie Love, lead scientist at Tennessee-based ORNL.
Clinical Trial Disruption Due to COVID-19 Has Begun to Slow
Since early March, hundreds of organizations that are acting as the sponsor, collaborator, or contract research organization (CRO) have publicly announced disruptions to planned and ongoing clinical trials in their press releases, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, and clinical trial registries, as well as on social media. Companies have delayed the initiation of planned trials or withdrawn these completely, as well as suspended enrolment in ongoing trials or terminated these trials. The Covid-19 dashboard on the Pharma Intelligence Center dynamically tracks these disrupted trials and organizations from the Clinical Trials Database, along with trials that have resumed activity since disruption.
GlobalData found in the last three months, the number of disrupted clinical trials and organizations has continued to grow, most noticeably between April and May, but this trend has begun to slow (Figure 1). The majority of the disruption, at 61.5%, was due to the suspension of enrolment. Trials currently being impacted due to slow enrolment follows at 22.8%, then finally, 15.7% of trials have delayed initiation. Within the 22.8% of trials affected by slow enrolment, 12.5% of these are specifically due to the availability of sites and investigators.