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Found 10 results
  1. News Article
    The coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University induces a strong immune response and appears to be safe, according to preliminary trial results. The early stage trial, which involved 1,077 people, has found that the vaccine trains the immune system to produce antibodies and white blood cells capable of fighting the virus. It also causes few side effects. Professor Sarah Gilbert, co-author of the Oxford University study, described the findings as promising but said there “is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the Covid-19 pandemic”. The results came as the UK secured 90 million doses of other promising Covid-19 vaccines, while clinical trials of a new inhaled coronavirus treatment showed it significantly reduced the number of hospitalised patients needing intensive care. Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 July 2020
  2. News Article
    Low dose dexamethasone reduces deaths in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 who need ventilation, according to preliminary results from the RECOVERY trial. The drug was also found to reduce deaths by one-fifth in other hospitalised patients receiving oxygen only, but no benefit was seen among COVID-19 patients who did not need respiratory support. The chief investigators from the University of Oxford trial said that the findings represent a “major breakthrough” which is “globally applicable” as the drug is cheap and readily available. Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Oxford and a chief investigator on the trial, added, “This is the only drug that has so far been shown to reduce mortality, and it reduces it significantly. It is a major breakthrough.” Read full story Source: BMJ, 16 June 2020
  3. Content Article
    RECOVERY was established in March 2020 as a randomised clinical trial to test a range of potential treatments for COVID-19, including low-dose dexamethasone (a corticosteroid). As an urgent public health study, the trial has been prioritised for delivery across the UK by the NIHR. Through the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network, over 11,500 patients have so far been enrolled into RECOVERY from over 175 NHS hospitals in the UK. A total of 2104 patients were randomised to dexamethasone once per day for ten days and were compared with 4321 patients randomised to usual care alone. Among the usual care control group, 28-day mortality was highest in those on ventilators (41%), intermediate in those on oxygen only (25%), and lowest among those who were not receiving any respiratory intervention (13%). The study, conducted at the University of Oxford and led by Professor Peter Horby and Professor Martin Landray, found that dexamethasone reduced the risk of dying by one-third in ventilated patients and by one fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only. There was no benefit among those who did not need respiratory intervention.
  4. News Article
    A trial has been launched in the UK to test whether ibuprofen can help with breathing difficulties in COVID-19 hospital patients. Scientists hope a modified form of the anti-inflammatory drug and painkiller will help to relieve respiratory problems in people who have more serious coronavirus symptoms but do not need intensive care unit treatment. Half the patients participating in the trial will be administered with the drug in addition to their usual care, while the other half will receive standard care to analyse the effectiveness of the treatment. Read full story Source: The Independent, 3 June 2020
  5. News Article
    Selected NHS coronavirus patients will soon be able to access an experimental treatment to speed up their recovery, with the health secretary Matt Hancock suggesting it is probably “the biggest step forward’’ in medication since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. The anti-viral drug remdesivir will be made available to patients meeting certain clinical criteria to support their recovery in hospital. The drug is currently undergoing clinical trials around the world, including in the UK, and peer-reviewed data showed it can shorten the time to recovery by about four days. Treatment will initially be prioritised for patients who have the greatest likelihood of deriving the most benefit, according to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Satisfied the drug can help boost recovery, the government’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the use of remdesivir through its early access to medicines scheme. The experimental anti-viral drug was granted emergency authorisation to treat Covid-19 in the US by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month. Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 May 2020
  6. News Article
    The World Health Organization has said it will temporarily drop hydroxychloroquine — the malaria drug Donald Trump said he is taking as a precaution — from its global study into experimental coronavirus treatments after safety concerns. The WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in light of a paper published last week in the Lancet that showed people taking hydroxychloroquine were at higher risk of death and heart problems than those who were not, it would pause the hydroxychloroquine arm of its solidarity global clinical trial. “The executive group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the solidarity trial while the safety data is reviewed by the data safety monitoring board,” Tedros said on Monday. “The other arms of the trial are continuing,” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 25 May 2020
  7. News Article
    Drugs that could relieve the symptoms of coronavirus in vulnerable patients and help them avoid admission to hospital are to begin trials in homes across the UK. The experiment, led by a team at Oxford University, seeks to test pre-existing treatments for older people in the community who show signs of the disease. Known as Principle, or “Platform Randomised trial of interventions against Covid-19 in older People”, it is the first to take place in primary care settings such as health clinics. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Independent, 12 May 2020
  8. News Article
    Trials have begun in the UK to test the effectiveness of blood plasma transfusions in treating patients suffering from COVID-19. NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) have started delivering the first units of convalescent plasma, which contains the antibodies of people who have recovered from coronavirus, to hospitals in England. In total, 14 units have been supplied to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. The first transfusions have been administered, NHSBT confirmed on Wednesday, though the efficacy of the treatment will not be known until the trial ends. Seven hospitals are currently taking part in the trials, which will assess a patient’s speed of recovery and chances of survival, with more expected to join in the coming months as the number of people eligible to donate blood plasma increases. As of Tuesday, more than 6,500 people had signed up while around 400 donations had been made. Gail Miflin, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We’re delighted the first patients are receiving convalescent plasma transfusions thanks to the generosity of our donors." Read full story Source: The Independent, 7 May 2020
  9. News Article
    Southampton researchers are trialling an inhaled drug that could prevent worsening of COVID19 in those most at risk. The trial, led by Tom Wilkinson, Professor of Respiratory Medicince in the Faculty of Medicine and a consultant in respiratory medicine at University Hospital Southampton, will involve 100 patients at Southampton and up to ten other NHS hospitals taking part. Those patients will receive the best current COVID19 care, whilst inhaling either a placebo or SNG001, a special formulation of the naturally occurring antiviral protein interferon beta 1a (IFN-β), for 14 days. The trial will be undertaken with Synairgen, a drug development company founded by University of Southampton Professors Stephen Holgate, Donna Davies and Ratko Djukanovic. Professor Wilkinson said, “COVID19 cis presenting a major challenge to vulnerable patients, the health service and wider society whilst a vaccine will be key, that could some time away. Right now we need effective frontline treatments to give doctors the tools to treat the most vulnerable and to help patients recover quickly as the pressure on health systems mounts." Read full story Source: University of Southampton, 18 March 2020
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