The pandemic has hit provinces hard, but none like Quebec. That is why one researcher in Montreal is on the prowl for new methods like an inhaler to treat COVID-19 as the virus increases across Canada. 

Dr. Nicole Ezer, a respiratory disease researcher at McGill University Health Centre, wants to test out a drug on Canadians experiencing less severe symptoms of COVID-19.

The method is known to treat asthma and will hopefully work on COVID-19 patients too.

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We were enthusiastic to start this trial based on lab data showing ciclesonide may have anti-viral effects on cells infected with the SARS COV2 virus. 

Dr. Ezer

The team of researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) began lab testing the drug called ciclesonide.

It's a nasal steroid that is administered with an inhaler, and right now is used to treat nasal rhinitis and asthma but they think it could help milder COVID-19 cases. 

"We hope that targeting the site of viral replication with inhaled and nasal ciclesonide will reduce early viral replication and decrease severity of COVID-19 illness,” Ezer told Narcity. 

Her team is currently collaborating with sites in Ontario and British Columbia to also enroll in this clinical trial.

The drug is apparently already on the market in Canada where it is meant for asthma and allergic rhinitis but they are waiting to be approved for testing for this purpose. 

The trial requires 454 participants and they are still on the hunt for another 300 more people to participate. 

 
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