Nearly 1,000 patients from 132 hospitals have been recruited in 15 days and thousands more are expected to join in the coming weeks, the health department said.
The trial tests more commonly used drugs to treat malaria and HIV, and is designed so that when other drugs are identified, they can be added to the study within a few days.
England’s deputy medical director Jonathan Van-Tam said the next round of clinical trials is expected to include new drugs, including those that may be in development for other illnesses and may “have a role to play ”.
But he was careful about the timing of the test results.
“I know there will be a question about when are we going to get results from these clinical trials, and my direct answer is,” I don’t know. “I think it’s going to be a few months,” he said at a press conference.
Health Minister Matt Hancock said until treatment for COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, was found to be effective, the only protection against him was to stay home .
He said clinical trials so far have focused on reallocating existing drugs and steroids for the treatment of COVID-19.
“We have also set up a specialized therapies working group to research and select other candidate drugs for trials,” said Hancock.
“We need more patients to volunteer to participate in these trials, because the larger the trials, the better the data and the faster we can deploy the treatments, if – and only if – it is proven to work . “