Joint Research Office


UCLH joins national priority study for Covid-19

15 April 2020

Patients at UCLH hospitalised for COVID-19 are taking part in an ‘adaptive’ national priority trial of new and existing therapies - where new therapies can be added to the study over time as understanding of the virus develops.

Researchers in the Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial will regularly review study data to ensure any treatment identified as effective can be quickly made available to all patients.

Initially, RECOVERY is looking at lopinavir-ritonavir (an HIV drug), low-dose corticosteroids and hydroxychloroquine (a treatment for malaria) to see if they are safe and effective when added to the usual standard of care. Researchers will assess the impact of therapies on in-hospital death, discharge and whether patients go on to need ventilation.

160 hospitals across the UK are recruiting patients to the study with over 4000 patients already recruited. At UCLH the study is being led by Dr Hanif Esmail.

Dr Esmail said: “There are currently no approved drug treatments for COVID-19 and clearly the need for treatments is huge. An important aspect of RECOVERY is its responsive design - as our understanding of the condition develops, we can introduce new therapies into the study to assess how well they work, with the aim of speeding up the process of finding effective treatments.”

The trial is sponsored by the University of Oxford and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation.