Clinical trial seeks individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dan Meisenzahl, (808) 348-4936
Spokesperson, UH Communications
Posted: Sep 20, 2020

Link to video and sound (details below):

WHAT: University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) COVID-19 clinical trial continues to seek individuals who were recently diagnosed with the virus to participate in a 21-day study. Participants will be placed on either a placebo (sugar pill) or telmisartan, a medication commonly used for blood pressure control. 

WHY: To help find an effective treatment for patients with COVID-19. Researchers hope to find preliminary evidence that taking telmisartan will prevent much of the harmful effects of the virus.

WHO: A team of JABSOM researchers led by Cecilia Shikuma, professor of medicine and lead investigator. Participants will be closely monitored by experienced nurses and doctors.

WHEN: The study is ongoing until all spots have been filled.

WHERE: Participants can be seen for the study right outside their home if there is a safe place to be seen, or they can come for study visits right outside the JABSOM clinic.


  • Researchers will test the hypothesis that much of the dangerous lung and heart effects of COVID-19 is caused by the virus’ ability to dysregulate the delicate balance in a hormone system in the human body called the renin angiotensin system.
  • Telmisartan lowers blood pressure by blocking the harmful effects of this hormone system.

  • Researchers say it is an advantage that telmisartan is already FDA-approved and many of the safety concerns of this drug are already known.

  • In addition to taking medications for 21 days, participants will be asked to monitor their temperature and blood pressures at home. The study will draw blood and obtain self-administered nasal swabs during study visits.

  • Participants will be paid $40/study visit for a total of 4 visits ($160).

  • For more information and to sign up for the study, contact Cris Milne at (808) 692-1335 or email Website:

Link to video and sound:

VIDEO BROLL: (50 seconds)

0:00-0:23 - testing of volunteers outside JABSOM
0:23-0:50 - testing samples in JABSOM lab


Cecilia Shikuma, JABSOM Professor of Medicine 

(21 seconds)
“Finding an effective therapy for COVID-19 is very important. In fact, it may be more important or as important as finding a vaccine. Because you do not want to get ill and end up in the hospital.”

Shikuma (11 seconds)
“One of the good things about entering a clinical trial is that your clinical status will be monitored by a group of very experienced doctors and nurses.” 

Shikuma (7 seconds)
“I would recommend that you call us as soon as soon as you find out that you are COVID-19 positive.”