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Lessening Organ Dysfunction With VITamin C - COVID-19 (LOVIT-COVID)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT04401150
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : May 26, 2020
Last Update Posted : January 24, 2022
Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
François Lamontagne, Université de Sherbrooke

Brief Summary:
LOVIT-COVID is a multicentre concealed-allocation parallel-group blinded randomized controlled trial to ascertain the effect of high-dose intravenous vitamin C compared to placebo on mortality or persistent organ dysfunction at 28 days in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Vitamin C COVID-19 Hospitalized Patients Drug: Vitamin C Drug: Control Phase 3

Detailed Description:

Background. Research suggests that vitamin C is potentially lifesaving in the intense inflammatory cascade such as that associated with COVID-19. Inflammation and oxidative stress are among the main mechanisms underlying COVID-19-associated acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. Previous evidence had also already established that a dysregulated inflammatory cascade may distinguish patients who transition from a relatively mild viral pneumonitis to acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiorgan failure. As such, adjunct immune modulation therapies may improve outcomes of COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized. Numerous preclinical studies have shown that, in addition to direct scavenging of oxygen radicals, vitamin C limits their production and restores endothelial function.

As the majority of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are not critically ill, avoiding clinical deterioration and subsequent intensive care unit admission is a high priority. Participation in research should be offered before patients become critically ill, at which time many perceive that treatment may be too late. It is important to ensure that as many COVID-19 patients as possible are offered the opportunity to participate to research since that is generally the only means to access investigational therapies. The proposed trial will address this gap, by evaluating the efficacy of intravenous vitamin C in hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19.

Objectives. The overarching objective, which is identical to the objective of the parent LOVIT trial (NCT 03680274), is to determine whether intravenous vitamin C, compared to placebo, reduces morbidity and mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. To ascertain the volume of distribution, clearance, and plasma concentration over a course of 96 hours of intravenous vitamin C 50 mg/kg of weight every 6 hours or matching placebo (pharmacokinetic (PK) substudy).

Methods. Patients will be randomly assigned to vitamin C (intravenous, 50 mg/kg every 6h) or placebo (0.9% NaCl or dextrose 5% in water) for 96 hours. Study personnel at the clinical sites will document the composite of death or persistent organ dysfunction at day 28. Daily assessments will occur for organ function, on days 1, 3, 7 for inflammation, infection, and endothelial injury biomarkers, at baseline for vitamin C level, and at 6 months for mortality and HRQoL. The LOVIT-COVID Trial will be conducted in Canadian and possibly international sites. For the PK substudy: Blood samples will be drawn around the 8th dose at time 0 and then after administration at times 1h, 2h, 4h and 6h (the 6h level will be immediately prior to the next dose). The PK substudy will be conducted with 100 participants in some of the participating centers.

Relevance. A growing body of evidence suggests that vitamin C, an inexpensive and readily available intervention, is potentially lifesaving in sepsis and may also be beneficial in COVID-19. LOVIT-COVID will constitute rigorous assessments of the effect of vitamin C monotherapy on patient-important outcomes. If proven effective, vitamin C could be used worldwide and drastically change outcomes in high- and low-income settings alike.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 800 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: Randomized controlled trial
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description: Only the pharmacist of the participating site will be unblinded for the preparation of the study drug to be administered.
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Lessening Organ Dysfunction With VITamin C - COVID
Actual Study Start Date : August 14, 2020
Estimated Primary Completion Date : December 2022
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2022

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Vitamin C
Vitamin C: 50 mg/kg of weight administered intravenously every 6 hours for 96 hours (16 doses).
Drug: Vitamin C
Intravenous vitamin C administered in bolus doses of 50 mg/kg mixed in a 50-ml solution of either normal saline (0.9% NaCl) or dextrose 5% in water (D5W) during 30 to 60 minutes, every 6 hours for 96 hours (i.e. 200 mg/kg/day and 16 doses in total).
Other Name: Ascorbic acid

Placebo Comparator: Control
Normal saline (0.9% NaCl) or dextrose 5% in water (D5W) in a volume to match the vitamin C.
Drug: Control
Dextrose 5% in water of normal saline (0.9% NaCL) in a volume to match vitamin C.
Other Name: Placebo

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Death or persistent organ dysfunction [ Time Frame: Both assessed at 28 days ]
    Number of deceased participants or with persistant organ dysfunction (dependency on mechanical ventilation, new renal replacement therapy, or vasopressors).

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Number of intensive care unit-free days [ Time Frame: Assessed at 21 days ]
    Number of whole and part study days for which the patient is alive and not admitted to an intensive care unit

  2. Persistent organ dysfunction-free days in ICU [ Time Frame: Assessed at 28 days ]
    Number of study days in ICU without persistant organ dysfunction

  3. Number of patients deceased at 6 months [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Mortality at 6 months

  4. Health related quality of life in 6-month survivors [ Time Frame: 6 months ]

    Assessed by the EQ-5D-5L EuroQol questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L). The EQ-5D-5L essentially consists of 2 pages: the EQ-5D descriptive system and the EQ-5D visual analog scale (EQ VAS). The descriptive system comprises 5 dimensions: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression. Each dimension has 5 levels: no problems, slight problems, moderate problems, severe problems, and extreme problems. The patient is asked to indicate her/his health state by ticking the box next to the most appropriate statement in each of the 5 dimension. This decision results in a 1-digit number that expresses the level selected for that dimension. The digits for the 5 dimensions can be combined into a 5-digit number that describes the patient's health state.

    The EQ-VAS records the patient's self-rated health on a vertical visual analog scale, where the endpoints are labelled 'The best health you can imagine' and 'The worst health you can imagine'.

  5. Organ function [ Time Frame: Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 14, 28 ]
    Assessed by the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score. Used to track a person's status during the stay in an intensive care unit to determine the extent of a person's organ function or rate of failure. The score is based on six different sub-scores, one each for the respiratory (PaO2/fraction of inspired oxygen FiO2) mmHg), cardiovascular (mean arterial pressure OR administration of vasopressors required), hepatic (liver bilirubin mg/dl [µmol/L]), coagulation (platelets x 103/µl), renal (kidneys creatinine (mg/dl) [µmol/L] (or urine output)), and neurological (Glasgow coma scale). The sub-score of each system ranges from 0 (best) to +4 (worst).

  6. Global tissue dysoxia [ Time Frame: Days 1, 3, 7 ]
    Assessed by serum lactate concentration

  7. Rate of inflammation [ Time Frame: Days 1, 3, 7 ]
    Assessed by interleukin-1 beta (IL-1ß), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), C-reactive protein (CRP).

  8. Rate of infection [ Time Frame: Days 1, 3, 7 ]
    Assessed by procalcitonin (PCT).

  9. Rate of endothelial injury [ Time Frame: Days 1, 3, 7 ]
    Assessed by thrombomodulin (TM) and angiopoietin-2 (ANG-2).

  10. Occurrence of stage 3 acute kidney injury [ Time Frame: Up to day 28 ]
    Assessed by Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criteria

  11. Acute hemolysis [ Time Frame: Up to day 28 ]
    • clinician judgment of hemolysis, as recorded in the chart, OR
    • hemoglobin drop of at least 25 g/L within 24 hours of a dose of investigational product plus 2 of the following:

      • reticulocyte count >2 times upper limit of normal at clinical site lab;
      • haptoglobin <lower limit of normal at clinical site lab;
      • indirect (unconjugated) bilirubin >2 times upper limit of normal at clinical site lab;
      • lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) >2 times upper limit of normal at clinical site lab.

    Severe hemolysis:

    o hemoglobin <75 g/L AND at least 2 of the above criteria AND requires 2 units of packed red blood cells.

  12. Hypoglycemia [ Time Frame: During the time participants receive the 16 doses of the investigational product and the 7 days following the last dose. ]
    Core lab-validated glucose level <3.8 mmol/L

  13. Vitamin C volume of distribution [ Time Frame: 8th dose of vitamin C at time 0 (immediately prior to the dose) and then after administration at times 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours and 6 hours (Pharmacokynetic substudy). ]
    Assessed by chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

  14. Vitamin C clearance [ Time Frame: 8th dose of vitamin C at time 0 (immediately prior to the dose) and then after administration at times 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours and 6 hours (Pharmacokynetic substudy). ]
    Assessed by chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

  15. Vitamin C plasma concentration [ Time Frame: 8th dose of vitamin C at time 0 (immediately prior to the dose) and then after administration at times 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours and 6 hours (Pharmacokynetic substudy). ]
    Assessed by chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19;
  • Admitted to hospital (ward or intensive care unit).

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Receiving or has received vasopressors during the current hospitalization;
  • More than 24 hours has elapsed since receipt of non-invasive ventilatory support (high-flow nasal cannula or continuous positive airway pressure or non-invasive ventilation) or invasive mechanical ventilation;
  • Patient is expected to be discharged from the hospital in the next 24 hours;
  • More than 14 days have elapsed since the commencement of hospital admission with respiratory illness;
  • Known glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency;
  • Known sickle cell anemia
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding;
  • Known allergy to vitamin C;
  • Known kidney stones within the past 1 year;
  • Received any intravenous vitamin C during this hospitalization unless incorporated in parenteral nutrition;
  • Expected death or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments within 48 hours;
  • Previously enrolled in this study;
  • Previously enrolled in a trial for which co-enrolment is not allowed (co- enrolment to be determined case by case).

The trial has broad eligibility criteria and includes all COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital (e.g. hospital ward or the intensive care unit) who are not receiving vasopressors.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT04401150

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Contact: Marie-Helene Masse 819-346-1110 ext 14173
Contact: Julie Menard, PhD 819-346-1110 ext 13534

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Canada, Quebec
Research Center of the CHUS Recruiting
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, J1H 5N4
Contact: Marie-Helene Masse    819-346-1110 ext 14173   
Contact: Julie Menard, PhD    819-346-1110 ext 13534   
Principal Investigator: Francois Lamontagne, MD, MSc         
Research Centre of the CHUS Not yet recruiting
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, J1H 5N4
Contact: Marie-Helene Masse    819-346-1110 ext 14173   
Contact: Julie Menard, PhD    819-346-1110 ext 14173   
Sponsors and Collaborators
Université de Sherbrooke
Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation
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Principal Investigator: François Lamontagne, MD, FRCPC, MSc Université de Sherbrooke and CIUSSS de l'Estrie - CHUS
Principal Investigator: Neill K Adhikari, MDCM, FRCPC, MSc Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto
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Responsible Party: François Lamontagne, Co-Principal Investigator, Université de Sherbrooke Identifier: NCT04401150    
Other Study ID Numbers: MP-31-2021-3741
First Posted: May 26, 2020    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 24, 2022
Last Verified: January 2022
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by François Lamontagne, Université de Sherbrooke:
Vitamin C
Hospitalized patients
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Respiratory Tract Infections
Pneumonia, Viral
Virus Diseases
Coronavirus Infections
Coronaviridae Infections
Nidovirales Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Ascorbic Acid
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Protective Agents