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COVID-19 and CVD

COVID-19 is much more deadly for those with cardiovascular disease (CVD) than for those without CVD. It is estimated that 30 – 40% of patients who die from COVID-19 do so from cardiovascular complications.

In September 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Cardiol’s Investigational New Drug application to conduct a Phase II/III clinical trial investigating the efficacy and safety of CardiolRx™ in the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with a prior history of, or risk factors for, CVD. The trial has been designed to assess the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of CardiolRx™ in preventing cardiovascular complications in hospitalized patients, with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 within the previous 24 hours, and who have pre-existing CVD and/or significant risk factors for CVD. Learn more…

Patients with COVID-19 primarily present with respiratory symptoms which can progress to bilateral pneumonia and serious pulmonary complications. It is now recognized that the impact of COVID-19 is not limited to the pulmonary system. Individuals with pre-existing CVD or who have risk factors for CVD (such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, abnormal serum lipids, or age greater than 64) are at significantly greater risk of developing serious disease from COVID-19 and experience greater morbidity. Moreover, such COVID-19 patients are at significant risk of developing cardiovascular complications (such as acute myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, myocarditis, stroke, and heart failure) during the course of their illness, and which are frequently fatal, with an estimated 30 – 40% of patients who die from COVID-19 doing so from cardiovascular complications. A strategy to prevent or limit the number or severity of these cardiovascular complications is likely to considerably improve outcomes from this disease.

The rationale for using cannabidiol to treat patients with COVID-19 is based on extensive pre-clinical investigations by Cardiol and others in models of cardiovascular inflammation which have demonstrated that CBD has impressive anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic activity, as well as anti-ischemic, and anti-arrhythmic action, and that it improves myocardial function in models of heart failure. In pre-clinical models of cardiac injury, cannabidiol was shown to be cardio-protective by reducing cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and the production of certain re-modelling markers, such as cardiac B-type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP), which is typically elevated in patients with heart failure. These data were accepted for presentation at the American College of Cardiology’s 69th Annual Scientific Session held virtually on March 28 – 30, 2020.

An independent Clinical Steering Committee comprising eight highly distinguished thought leaders in cardiology from the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, McGill University Health Centre, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Charité University Medicine Berlin, has been established to design, oversee, and guide Cardiol’s Phase II/III trial.

Click here to view Clinical Steering Committee