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RECOVERY COVID-19 trial goes international

Friday February 19th 2021

The world’s largest clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments has expanded internationally, with patients being enrolled in Indonesia and Nepal.

The Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) Trial launched in the UK in March 2020 to investigate the effectiveness of existing treatments against COVID-19. It is open to all patients admitted to NHS hospitals with the virus and so far, more than 36,000 patients have been recruited.

It has already delivered results that have changed clinical care, including the findings that dexamethasone and tocilizumab significantly reduce the risk of death when given to hospitalised patients with severe COVID-19.

Now RECOVERY International has enrolled its first patients and the trial will focus initially on aspirin and colchicines because these are readily available and affordable, it has been announced. Like RECOVERY in the UK, the trial will be adaptive and new drugs will be added over time, the researchers said.

Professor Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, and joint chief investigator for the trial, said: “The RECOVERY trial has been an enormous success, enrolling over 36,000 patients and delivering clear results on six treatments already.

“By building on this success through international partnership we can speed up the assessment of novel treatments, increase the global relevance of the trial results, build capacity, and reduce wasted efforts on small uninformative studies.

“It is particularly important to find readily available and affordable treatments for COVID-19 that can be used worldwide. RECOVERY International will help us to identify effective treatments that can be used in less well-resourced settings.”

In Indonesia, the RECOVERY trial is being delivered through the longstanding research partnership between the University of Oxford and Faculty of Medicine University of Indonesia (FKUI), and several hospitals

Dr Erni Nelwan, who will lead the trial in Indonesia on behalf of FKUI, said: “We are really excited that our investigators will have the experience of being part of a high-profile, global trial. In return, we can provide a more diverse patient population, including those more severely affected by the disease.”

Professor Raph Hamers, who will co-lead the trial in Indonesia on behalf of Oxford University, said the trial has already helped Indonesia to plan its resources more effectively.

“For instance, because of the trial’s results, chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine is no longer recommended in Indonesia to treat COVID-19, with dexamethasone now widely used instead,” he added.

Wellcome, in collaboration with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), on behalf of the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, has provided funding for RECOVERY International for an initial for a two-year period.

Tags: Asia | Flu & Viruses | UK News

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