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COPD Research

Although treatments are available for COPD, they are not uniformly effective, meaning that medications and combinations of medications work for some people and don't work for other people. As a result, additional research is needed to identify what contributes to the development and severity of COPD.

In addition to improving the quality of patients’ lives through the Northwestern Medicine health system, our program focuses on the advancement of COPD treatments through the study and development of new medications and procedures.

Call for Participation

Your participation in one of our studies is an important part of the success of our research program. Our research patients may benefit from participating in our studies, while also helping to improve the lives of other people with COPD.

Learn more about our studies below. If you are interested in participating in our research or if you have questions about any of the studies below, please contact us for additional information.

Current Studies 

  • Resolute: This research study is for people that have been diagnosed with moderate to very severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that is not well controlled. This study is being carried out to evaluate benralizumab (study drug) compared to placebo (an inactive substance) as a medicine to treat moderate to very severe COPD associated with elevated blood eosinophils and history of frequent exacerbation (also known as “flare ups”). A particular type of white blood cell called eosinophils are involved in inflammation of the air passages and may play an important role in the symptoms that you experience as part of your COPD.  Benralizumab is an antibody that has been made to reduce the number of eosinophils in the body. Benralizumab may help decrease inflammation in the air passages of people with COPD and help to reduce flare-ups.
  • Reliance: This research study is for people that have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. You may qualify if you have been hospitalized for your breathing or COVID in the last year.  This study adds one of two medications (Azithromycin or Roflumilast) to the medications you regularly take to try to prevent future COPD flare ups and hospitalization.

Past Studies

  • LEEP: This research is being done to look at how a medicine called losartan helps people with COPD. Losartan is a medicine used for the treatment of high blood pressure, but has been shown to slow damage to the lungs caused by COPD in animals. We would like to find out if taking losartan can also slow damage to the lungs caused by COPD in human participants.
  • RETHINC: The purpose of this study is to evaluate a drug called indacterol/glycopyrrolate that may help improve your breathing. Indacterol/glycopyrrolate is an inhaled medication that is an FDA approved medication for people who have COPD. It is being used as an investigational drug in this study in people who do not meet the current criteria for COPD, but who have respiratory symptoms (such as coughing and shortness of breath).
  • INSIGHT COPD: We are conducting INSIGHT COPD because symptoms of COPD and high body mass index (BMI) overlap. There are many medications for patients with COPD, but there is little mention of weight loss as a possible treatment in current research. We are trying to find out if a lifestyle program that promotes modest weight loss and increased physical activity will improve COPD symptoms for those with a high BMI.
  • Block-COPD: The purpose of this study is to learn more about the safety and effectiveness of a drug called metoprolol succinate for the treatment of COPD. This study will test how well once-daily metoprolol succinate works to reduce COPD flare-ups.
  • EMPROVE: The purpose of this study is to determine the safety and effectiveness of a new treatment device, called the Spiration Valve System, when used in the airways of subjects with severe COPD compared to subjects with COPD that do not receive the valves. This study will help determine whether those receiving the study valves will have improvements in health.
  • RENEW: The purpose of this study was to find out if a treatment for COPD, a medical device called the PneumRx® RePneu® Lung Volume Reduction Coil System, is safe and effective.
  • IMPACT: The purpose of this study is to determine if a single inhaler containing three different medications (an inhaled corticosteroid and two different bronchodilators) is better than using just two medicines in a single inhaler for the prevention of COPD exacerbations or worsening of symptoms.
  • ASCENT: The purpose of this study is to determine the long-term effects on the heart and COPD exacerbations or worsening of symptoms when the drug aclidinium bromide is added to usual treatment for COPD.

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