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Large trial of new covid treatment begins in UK

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A large-scale trial of a new treatment it is hoped will help stop COVID-19 patients from developing severe illness has begun in the UK.

The first patient received the treatment at Hull Royal Infirmary on Tuesday afternoon. It involves inhaling a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it gets a viral infection.

The hope is it will stimulate the immune system, priming cells to be ready to fight off viruses.

Early findings suggested the treatment cut the odds of a COVID-19 patient in hospital developing severe disease - such as requiring ventilation - by almost 80%.

It was developed at Southampton University Hospital and is being produced by the Southampton-based biotech company, Synairgen.

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Source: BBC News, 13 January 2021

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