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Hoag Medical Group Moves Medicine Forward with Clinical Trials

When Hoag Medical Group (HMG) was founded more than three years ago, the group’s physicians knew they were starting something more than a convenient and expert resource for medical care in Orange County. They were continuing the long standing commitment of clinical excellence at Hoag.

“In order to truly lead, we need to translate creative innovation into the way health care is delivered,” said Jeff Brandt, M.D., Ph.D., medical director and founding member of HMG. “Research is an integral part of the way we do that.”

Having multiple locations throughout Orange County, HMG is now taking the exciting step of providing patients with access to clinical trials in allergy/immunology, HIV/infectious disease and diabetes care.

HMG physicians serve as the principal investigators in several of the trials, which are conducted closely with pharmaceutical and biotech companies with the goal of bringing cutting-edge resources directly to patients.

Most of the trials are aimed at finding better ways to treat or simplify treatments for patients to improve outcomes and make chronic conditions easier for patients to manage. Ongoing trials include:

  • Allergy/Immunology: A first for the group, Ankmalika Gupta Louis, M.D., is conducting a pediatric clinical trial for children with Primary Immunodeficiency Disease (PIDD). The allergy and immunology specialist also is conducting a PIDD therapy trial for adult patients, which she hopes will lead to better outcomes for people born with deficient immune systems.
  • HIV/Infectious Disease: Laura Salazar, M.D., leads a number of Hepatitis C and HIV clinical trials, including a study of a new single-tablet antiviral regimen that scientists hope will make HIV treatment easier to manage with less long-term toxicity. Her research helped pave the way for a new Hepatitis C medication called Harvoni®, which is now FDA approved and led to an easier, milder and faster treatment regimen. Dr. Salazar’s recent work with Harvoni focuses on patients who are co-infected with Hepatitis C and HIV.
  • Diabetes: Daniel Nadeau, M.D., program director of the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag and holder of the Dr. Kris V. Iyer Endowed Chair in Diabetes Care, is the principal investigator for two new Type 2 diabetes trials. The first will assess the effects of a long-acting insulin treatment on glucose control. The second will evaluate the effect of a new oral medication that improves glucose control for patients with Type 2 diabetes and reduced kidney function. Dr. Nadeau will lead several other trials in early 2016, including a study that combines new, long-acting insulin with a new, ultra-fast pre-meal insulin for patients with Type 1 diabetes.

As the HMG Research Program evolves, physicians hope to expand their research to additional fields, including genetics, telemedicine and neuroscience.

“In order to be relevant and current, we have to be involved in the things that make us better. This is part of the long legacy of commitment to the community that has been ingrained in our culture since Hoag first broke ground,” Dr. Brandt said. “It’s overwhelmingly impressive how much support there is in this community – from volunteerism to philanthropy – for the hospital. While we are a community hospital, we have, with support of the people we serve, taken that innovative leadership role to continue to evolve and reinforce that commitment.”