UCL News


FLARE trial: antivirals to take while self-isolating in early COVID-19

7 December 2020

UCL students who have tested positive for coronavirus are eligible for places on the FLARE study, a UCL-sponsored clinical trial of early antiviral treatments for COVID-19.

FLARE trial logo

The Favipiravir +/- Lopinavir: A RCT of Early Antivirals Favipiravir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir or Combination Therapy (FLARE) trial aims to see if favipiravir and lopinavir/ritonavir, alone or in combination, can inhibit viral replication in early COVID-19 infection – within the first few days of illness.

Recruitment is taking place across London of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating at home, either asymptomatic or in the first few days of symptoms. Up to 240 adults aged 18 to 70 will be recruited to the randomised placebo controlled trial and participants will take oral medication (tablets) for seven days.

To maximise the potential benefit, we are treating patients with very early onset infection and are looking for the additional or synergistic effects of adding a second drug. If we can find antivirals that decrease viral load early on, this might reduce the risk of transmission and later hospitalisation. If this study is successful, researchers later plan to investigate this strategy of early antiviral treatment in high-risk patients to prevent serious outcomes from the disease including hospitalisation and death.

Find out more on the FLARE trial website.