Hospital del Mar Research Institute Hospital del Mar Research Institute

Other projects we participate in

Gene profiling dynamics and identification of gene expression in patients at high risk of severe COVID-19

The main objective of this project is to determine the dynamic transcriptomic profile of adult patients admitted to hospital due to COVID-19 and to characterise the subgroup that develops severe disease. The secondary objective is to establish a gene signature capable of discriminating, at the baseline, the group that will develop complications and, therefore, contribute to the phylogeny of the virus. In addition, through specific tools for assessing virus sequences, we want to contribute to the genomic epidemiological study of SARS-CoV-2.

  • Coordinating centre: IDIBELL
  • IMIM researcher involved: Dr. Lara Nonell. Researcher in the IMIM's Biomedical Informatics Programme
  • Funding: Department of Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya

Clinical characterisation of COVID-19 infection: Prognostic stratification and complications

We want to create stratification scales for the risk of poor disease progression in COVID-19 sufferers and the developmental profile of these patients. We also want to assess the effectiveness of treatments and diagnostic tests, evaluating accessibility, equity, variability and costs. This study will be conducted using information extracted both manually and automatically from the electronic medical records of patients, including their epidemiological history, the onset of symptoms, clinical expression, tests performed, treatments and progress up to 3 months after discharge. The data will later be analysed by means of classic survival models, logistic regression, generalised linear models and AI analysis techniques that evaluate the risk of poor progression.

  • Coordinating centre: Kronikgune Institute for Health Services Research Association
  • IMIM researcher involved: Dr. Xavier Castells. Head of the IMIM's Evaluation and Clinical Epidemiology Service.
  • Funding: Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII). Ministry of Science and Technology

Clinical trial to find an effective treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection

Entitled "Ensayo clínico piloto, aleatorizado, multicéntrico y abierto de uso combinado de Hidroxicloroquina, Azitromicina y Tocilizumab para el tratamiento de la infección por SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)" (Pilot, randomised, multicentre, open clinical trial on the combined use of Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin and Tocilizumab for the Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection), the main objective of this study is to evaluate in-hospital mortality, the need for mechanical ventilation, and the rescue doses of tocilizumab required for patients with a confirmed COVID-19 infection being treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combined with hocilizumab.

  • Coordinating centre: Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
  • IMIM researcher involved: Dr. Juan Pablo Horcajada, head of the Infectious Diseases Service and General COVID Coordinator at the PSMAR
  • Funding: Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII). Ministry of Science and Technology

Technologies for detecting biomarkers related to SARS-CoV-2 infection

The purpose of the project, referred to as POC4CoV, is to provide technologies to accurately, rapidly and simultaneously detect various biomarkers related to SARS-CoV-2 infection. It will detect the molecules circulating in the blood that have been produced by the host's immune system in response to the infection. This will provide more complete information on the severity and stage of the disease and, consequently, enable more effective stratification of the patients. These devices are easy to use, cost-effective and user-friendly for healthcare personnel after minimal training. From the technological perspective, the project will evaluate the potential of two devices that have already been developed by some of the groups in the consortium.

  • Coordinating centre: Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
  • IMIM researcher involved: Dr. Juan Pablo Horcajada, head of the Infectious Diseases Service and General COVID Coordinator at the PSMAR
  • Funding: CSIC

Effectiveness and safety of convalescent hyperimmune plasma treatment of hospitalised patients with non-critical forms of COVID-19

Hyperimmune convalescent plasma (CP) is commonly used in severe acute respiratory viral infectionse, in emergency situations and based on low-quality non-comparative studies. In view of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, we propose a randomised trial of CP in hospitalised subjects with non-critical forms of COVID-19 versus the standard care approach (according to WHO guidelines), in more than 20 hospitals, in coordination with transfusion centres and the CNM-ISCIII. This will allow us to analyse the effectiveness and safety of the treatment, based on a large body of evidence, including the risk of antibody-mediated lung damage and immune response, as well as assessing its impact on the evolution of viral load and seroconversion (neutralising antibodies) in patients. We will also be able to evaluate the feasibility of a donor identification model and CP production for Spanish national health system patients, and guide CP decision making in cases of COVID-19 at the national and international levels.

  • Coordinating centre: Hospital Puerta del Hierro (Madrid)
  • IMIM researcher involved: Dr. Hernando Knobel. Section head of the Hospital del Mar Infection Diseases Service.
  • Funding: Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII). Ministry of Science and Technology

Early detection of vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder in populations with a high level of exposure to COVID-19.

The early detection and prevention of stress disorders is essential in facilitating the rapid recovery of the population and reducing the possibility of developing more complex mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Health professionals will be among the most affected due to their direct involvement in high-risk activities. The goal of this project is the early detection of stress symptoms to avoid or minimise the appearance of more complex mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or major depressive disorders, through a non-invasive test lasting about 3 minutes that measures physiological variables at the same time as assessing the individual's cognitive response.

The study's target populations are the two groups of professionals most directly involved in treating COVID-19 patients: nursing staff and doctors.

  • Coordinating centre: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • IMIM researcher involved: Silvia Esteban. Coordinator of a research group in the IMIM's Epidemiology and Public Health Programme and a nurse in the nursing quality service.
  • Funding: FONDO SUPERA LA COVID-19 (Associació CRUE Universidades Españolas/CSIC/Banco Santander).

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