Dr John Wright of Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) describes some of the trials under way to find a cure for Covid-19, and suggests that a combination of three different types of drug may hold the key.
At BRI we are now participating in eight different clinical trials to try and find a cure for Covid-19.
We are part of a huge international effort. It feels like all the light of global science has been concentrated into a laser beam directed at this almost invisible virus.
Last week at BRI we recruited the first patient in the UK for a small trial to test whether a new drug made by AstraZeneca is safe and effective. This is one of a number of small trials – jointly referred to as the Accord trial – designed to assess further drugs that may be added to the Recovery trial.
The hope is that this AstraZeneca drug, which does not yet have a name, will help to damp down a dangerous overreaction of the immune system that occurs in a small proportion of patients, sending the body into shock and closing down vital organs, such as the lungs, heart, blood vessels and kidney.
I suspect that a vaccine for Covid-19 is still a year away, so these trials searching for treatments are critical.
The doctors here are looking ahead to a time – not too far off, they hope – when anyone with early symptoms will be able to drive to a testing centre, get swabbed, get a quick result and a prescription for a combination of effective drugs, before the worst of their symptoms take hold.
This combination may include an antiviral drug, an immune suppressing drug, and an anti-inflammatory drug.
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