UC Davis Health has been selected as a site for a new clinical trial (OSCAR) to test otilimab as a potential treatment for severe pulmonary COVID-19-related disease.

Otilimab, a human monoclonal antibody, was under investigation as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Now, the OSCAR clinical trial will evaluate the efficacy and safety of a single infusion of otilimab in treating severe lung inflammation in COVID-19 patients.

The UC Davis Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine is actively recruiting patients for the trial. Participants will be hospitalized patients with hypoxia (low oxygen levels) who need significant oxygen support or invasive mechanical ventilation.

“We are excited to provide our patients the opportunity to participate in this clinical trial that might hold the key to a therapy for COVID-19,” said Timothy Albertson, the principal investigator on the trial and a specialist in pulmonary and critical care medicine.

“At this stage, we are planning to recruit up to 10 patients who are severely ill and hospitalized due to COVID-19 pulmonary complications,” said Albertson, who is also chair of the UC Davis Department of Internal Medicine.

The trial will be randomized; half of the participants will receive a single intravenous infusion of otilimab, while half will get a placebo, in addition to standard care.

Currently, UC Davis Health is the only site in Northern California to take part in the OSCAR trial. The trial is sponsored by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

Clinical Trial: NCT04376684