"Calming the Storm": VCU Wright Center researchers talk about inflammation and COVID-19

headshots of Van Tassell and Abbate

"A potentially fatal inflammatory response that occurs in some people with COVID-19 infections may be alleviated with a medication that's being assessed in a study at Virginia Commonwealth University."

Wright Center researchers Antonio Abbate and Benjamin Van Tassell are featured in a Richmond magazine story about the dangerous inflammatory response in patients with COVID-19.

"Abbate is a cardiologist who is an associate director of VCU's C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research and medical director of the clinical research unit for VCU Health. An associate professor of cardiology for the medical school, he is the principal investigator in the canakinumab study, which began April 29. School of Pharmacy professor Benjamin Van Tassell is a co-investigator. Abbate was familiar with the drug, which was previously studied at VCU. He says that it has been shown to reduce the recurrence of a second heart attack or stroke in people who have previously sustained a heart attack."

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