The world’s largest randomized controlled trial of a range of potential treatments for adults hospitalized with COVID-19 is launched in the UK with more than 5,400 patients from more than 165 hospitals.
There is currently no proven treatment for COVID-19, which has killed more than 145,000 people worldwide so far, but hospitals around the world have experimented with a number of different drugs as researchers scramble to develop a vaccine, perform antibody tests and explore different possible therapies such as using plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.
The Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial aims to collect reliable clinical trial data on some of the most common treatments currently in use around the world, in the hope that answers can be determined on the safety and the effectiveness of these treatment options.
Drugs like lopinavir-ritonavir, commonly used to treat HIV, steroid dexamethasone, commonly used to treat inflammation, hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial, and the antibiotic azithromycin are among the most commonly used drugs, although reliable data on their effectiveness are not yet available. to exist. The RECOVERY trial, one of many ongoing, aims to fill this critical gap.
Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin hit the headlines last month after US President Donald Trump tweeted about drugs, touting their potential to be “one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine ”despite the lack of scientific evidence.
Doctors, however, warned the public not to treat themselves, warning that drugs like hydroxychloroquine can have dangerous side effects. Trump’s unproven claims have also caused a shortage of hydroxychloroquine for patients with other illnesses, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
“The RECOVERY trial will provide much needed evidence on the best care for patients with COVID-19,” said Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health in the Department of Medicine at Nuffield, University of Oxford, in a statement released earlier. month. Horby leads the tests.
“The more patients registered, the sooner we will know how to best treat this disease. “
The trial is supported by chief medical officers across the country and is supported financially by a grant to the University of Oxford from the UK Research and Innovation / National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), funding from the Bill Foundation and Melinda Gates and several other organizations.