NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — At the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, many key clinical trials are held, some in search of potentially life-changing treatments or medications. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed research down, even forcing some research to be paused. Now they are ramping back up.
“There were a lot of trials that couldn’t be put on hold because they would have actually an evaluation of products in patients who may not have had other options,” says Dr. Eric Velazquez, Deputy Director of Clinical Trials Innovation at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation.
They managed to proceed, carefully managing the risks for patient, researchers, and caregivers.
Clinical research allows for testing products, see if they improve how patients do in a safe manner, and see what impacts treatments, drugs, or devices.
Dr. Naftali Kaminski‘s trials were for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, a chronic, mostly lethal, previously untreatable scarring lung disease. They were making actual headway.
“It looked like 16 months ago we were perfect. We had multiple trials there was a lot of money going into research. Finally, things are happening again and so the pandemic hit,” says Dr. Kaminski, Chief of Yale Medicine Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine.
His trials were paused. Doctors pivoted to treating COVID patients. Now fully back up, recruitment is slow and they want to get patients back in and get back to what they were doing.
“If we can take the same energy that went into the vaccines and new therapies and chronic little disease that didn’t have solutions maybe we accelerate discovery there.”
That could apply to many conditions across the board for sick people. Dr. Kaminski knows that patients are not all comfortable being part of research and offers this advice.
“Sometimes it helps if the spouse says ‘why don’t you participate in research?’ or if a family member asks the primary care physician ‘is there research in our area?'” He says there is a lot of clinical research going on in Connecticut. Find Yale clinical trial information here.