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UK Covid treatment trial expands internationally

By Beth Gault

18 Feb 2021

An Oxford University-led clinical trial investigating whether existing treatments are effective against Covid-19 has expanded internationally.

Patients have now been recruited to the trial in Indonesia and Nepal, where it will initially focus on the treatments of aspirin and colchicine.

The trial, called the Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) was launched in the UK in March 2020. It is open to all patients admitted to NHS hospitals with Covid-19, and has so far recruited 36,000 patients.

The trial’s results have already been used in clinical care, after it showed that the steroid dexamethasone, and the anti-inflammatory treatment, tocilizumab, significantly reduce the risk of death when given to patients with severe Covid.

Professor Peter Horby from Oxford University 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.’

The trial also reported in December that it had found no significant clinical benefit of either oral or intravenous azithromycin in patients hospitalised with Covid-19.

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