First NNUH patients join COVID-19 treatment trial

3 April 2020

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has enrolled its first patients onto a national trial aimed at identifying treatments for COVID-19.

The RECOVERY trial (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy) is being led by researchers in Oxford and will test several medications that are safely used for other conditions and have shown promise in helping to treat patients with the new strain of coronavirus in other countries.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness. However, older people, and those with underlying medical conditions are more likely to develop serious illness as a result of the virus, which has no specific vaccines or treatments.

The RECOVERY trial will look at treating patients with hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, or lopinavir/ritonavir, which is normally used to treat HIV, or the steroid dexamethasone, which is used in a wide range of conditions to reduce inflammation. The research study is open to all adults who are hospitalised with confirmed COVID-19.

Dr Eleanor Mishra, Consultant Respiratory Physician at NNUH, said: “We are pleased to be part of this huge national effort to help improve care for those who require hospital treatment following a diagnosis of the new coronavirus.

This has been thanks to the research and pharmacy teams at the hospital who have pushed this through in record time. It is really exciting that we will be able to offer our patients potential treatments for COVID-19 as well as improving the care for others in the future.”

RECOVERY is one of a growing number of trials which are being set up with the support of the National Institute fo​r Health Research to help find treatments for COVID-19.