A multinational, multi-site team of researchers led by Peter Jüni of St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto in Canada investigated the efficacy of heparin as a treatment for moderate to severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically used for blood clotting, the National Institutes for Health (NIH) ACTIV-4 program demonstrated the breakthrough that full-dose heparin could reduce the need for life support while improving outcomes, as reported by TrialSite. Usually used to treat blood clotting, the common drug includes anti-inflammatory and anti-viral characteristics, which obviously got the attention of many research centers. While the study was recently uploaded to the preprint server medRxiv (not peer-reviewed), TrialSite suggests the findings, given the size and backers of this study, merit discussion. The overall study was sponsored by Unity Health Toronto, a Catholic health system based in Toronto that’s the result of a merger between three hospitals in the region. Numerous collaborators were involved in this study from multiple nations.

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