The federal government is investing more money in COVID-19 research.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the federal funding agency for health research, provided $109 million in funding to 139 research teams across the country.
Grant recipients in Quebec have already started their research projects.
Laval University researcher Alexis Turgeon is leading two studies into treatments for the most critically ill victims of COVID-19, thanks to a grant of $2.2 million.
“We’re going to be studying two interventions, so we’re going to be doing two clinical trials,” Turgeon said.
The first trial will study the effect of administering blood-thinning drugs to seriously ill patients in order to prevent blood clots, something which is known to have caused the death of a number of COVID-19 patients.
In the second trial, they’re working in collaboration with Héma-Québec and Canadian Blood Services.
“We will be taking these antibodies from patients who have recovered… and give it to those who are the sickest ones,” Turgeon said.
Another researcher from McGill University has received funding to look at the impact the pandemic has had on the care of cancer patients.
“There’s a lot of disruption in the process of care, health care in general, throughout the world,” said Dr. Eduardo Franco.
The pandemic may also have delayed the detection of cancer in some patients.
“People are afraid of coming for a screening, women are afraid of coming for their pap tests or for their mammograms or for a variety of things that are important for preventing cancer,” he said.
These researchers hope to have results from their studies within a year.
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