Current Studies

The following is a list of our current studies at the Asthma Research Center. All studies are open for enrollment, unless otherwise noted. The Asthma Research Center runs multiple studies and each study varies in duration and compensation is up to $1175 for your time and effort. To see if you are eligible for any of our studies, please contact us at 617-732-8201 or via e-mail at ARC@partners.org. You can also click here to fill out a form and see if you qualify to participate.

Severe Persistent Asthma Study

This research study is testing a new investigational medication.  The purpose of the study  is to examine its effectiveness in treating asthma.  This medication is not yet approved by the FDA for marketing, so can only be used in research studies.  The medication was designed to help patients who have severe asthma symptoms, despite already being on medication for their asthma.  Due to the fact asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airway, this medication targets some of the cells believe to cause that inflammation.

Participants will have 19 study visits over a 18 month period. Participants will receive either the study medication or placebo (something that looks like the medication but contains no active medicine) at no cost and will be compensated up to $1175.  Eligible volunteers should be between 18 and 75 years of age, and have asthma symptoms despite medications such as Symbicort®, Advair® or Dulera. For more information, please fill out our online survey and/or contact us at 1-888-99-ASTHMA, or email us at ARC@partners.org.

Uncontrolled Asthma Study

This research study is testing a new investigational medication.  The purpose of the study is to examine its effectiveness in treating asthma.  This medication is not yet approved by the FDA for marketing, so can only be used in research studies.  The medication was designed to help patients who have moderate and severe asthma symptoms, despite already being on medication for their asthma.  Due to the fact asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airway, this medication targets some of the cells believe to cause that inflammation. Participants will have 13 study visits over a 7 month period. Participants will undergo two bronchoscopy procedures and receive either the study medication or placebo (something that looks like the medication but contains no active medicine) at no cost and will be compensated up to $900.  Eligible volunteers should be between 18 and 65 years of age, and have asthma symptoms despite medications such as Symbicort®, Advair® or Dulera. For more information, please fill out our online survey and/or contact us at 1-888-99-ASTHMA, or email us at ARC@partners.org.This study is closed to enrollment and not recruiting any new patients.

Aspirin Study

If you have Samter’s Triad or Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD) and would like to undergo an aspirin desensitization to help treat your symptoms, you may be eligible for a research study at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital testing a new approach to treatment of AERD. This research study uses a medication that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but not to treat asthma or AERD. The medication, prasugrel (Effient®), is an inhibitor of platelets, which we believe play a role in AERD. To qualify for the study, you have to be 18-65 years old, have symptoms consistent with Samter’s Triad/AERD, and have asthma. The study involves 5 visits over a 23 week period and involves two aspirin desensitization procedures, blood sampling, and urine tests. You will be seen by a medical doctor and will receive the study medication at no cost. The purpose of the study is to find out if taking prasugrel will help to treat the symptoms of AERD and prevent reactions to aspirin, and to learn why aspirin desensitization improves the respiratory symptoms of patients with AERD. Compensation is up to $462. For more information, please contact the Asthma Research Cente rat 1-888-99-ASTHMA or Dr. Tanya Laidlaw at tlaidlaw@partners. This study is closed to enrollment and not recruiting any new patients.

Steroids in Eosinophil Negative Asthma (SIENA)

The SIENA study is being performed to determine if the cells present in the airway affect whether inhaled corticosteroids work or not for people. The study involves 10-13 study visits over 42 weeks and participants will be receiving inhaled steroids or a placebo during the research study. This study takes place at the Asthma Research Center within Brigham and Women’s Hospital and participants will be compensated up to $695. Eligible volunteers should be adults over the age of 18, and be taking short acting medications such as ProAir, Albuterol, Proventil, Ventolin, or Xopenex. For more information, please contact us at 1-888-99-ASTHMA, 617-732-8201 or email us at ARC@partners.org.This study is closed to enrollment and not recruiting any new patients.

Best African American Response to Asthma Drugs (BARD)

African Americans suffer a disproportionate burden of asthma morbidity compared to the general population, along with more asthma-related urgent care visits and higher rates of hospitalizations. It is known that African American/Black people with asthma sometimes don’t get better when they take the usual dose and type of medications like inhaled corticosteroids (“inhaled steroids”) used commonly to treat asthma.

We are doing this research study to find which additional asthma treatment works best for African American/Black people who have asthma that is not well controlled on a low dose inhaled steroid. We also want to find out if African American/Black people respond differently to how these medications work. Participants will include asthmatics who self-report African ancestry. This study is closed to enrollment and not recruiting any new patients.

ALfA: Alendronate for Asthma

This research study is testing alendronate, an FDA approved medication for osteoporosis. This medication is not yet approved by the FDA for asthma treatment. The purpose of this study is to find out if alendronate affects the loss of bronchoprotection in patients with asthma who are taking beta-2-agonists. Beta-2-agonists are bronchodialating asthma medications such as albuterol and salmeterol. Bronchodilators are inhaled medicines that relax the muscles in the airway. This makes the airway bigger so it is easier to breathe. They also protect against airway narrowing when you are exposed to your asthma triggers.

When people take beta-2-agonist bronchodilators regularly, the medication may not protect as well against asthma triggers. This is referred to as loss of bronchoprotection. Alendronate is being used in this study because research suggests it may prevent the loss of bronchoprotection caused by regular use of beta-2-agonists.

Participants will have 3 study visits at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital Asthma Research Center over a 10-week period. Participants will receive two FDA approved asthma inhalers and either alendronate or placebo (something that looks like the medication but contains no active medicine) at no cost. This study is closed to enrollment and not recruiting any new patients.

Severe Asthma Study

This research study is testing a new investigational medication.  The purpose of the study is to examine its effectiveness in treating asthma.  This medication is not yet approved by the FDA for marketing, so can only be used in research studies.  The medication was designed to help patients who have uncontrolled asthma symptoms, despite already being on medication for their asthma.  Due to the fact asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airway, this medication targets some of the cells believe to cause that inflammation.

Participants will have 10 study visits over a 6 month period. Participants will undergo two bronchoscopy procedures and receive either the study medication or placebo (something that looks like the medication but contains no active medicine) at no cost. This study is closed to enrollment and not recruiting any new patients.

 Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP)

In recent years scientists have learned more about the way mild-to-moderate asthma works and the reasons people get it. However, scientists are still trying to figure out what makes severe asthma different and how they can do better to treat the disease.

One reason the study of severe asthma is difficult is that there are not as many people with severe asthma. In fact they make up less than 10% of people with asthma. The Severe Asthma Research Program or SARP is a national research program created so that scientists in many locations across the country can run a single, important study, and together find enough volunteers with severe asthma to participate.

The Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP) at the BWH in Boston is looking for adults taking inhaled corticosteroids who have been told they have asthma by a doctor. The observational study involves coming to our research center 6 – 8 times over the course of about 3 years. Participants will take their usual asthma medications throughout, and, as with all our studies, compensation for time spent in our center is provided. This study is closed to enrollment and not recruiting any new patients.


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