Cambridge drug trial rolled out across the UK to help protect kidney patients from coronavirus

You can watch Claire McGlasson's story about the drug trial here.

A Cambridge trial to see if a drug usually used to treat tapeworm can help protect kidney patients from coronavirus is being rolled out across the UK. 

The study into Niclosamide has been running successfully at Addenbrooke's hospital since February but now more than 40 hospitals will join.

It's hoped it can help kidney patients who are particularly vulnerable to becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus.

Kidney Research UK is working with other partners to protect kidney patients who are usually excluded from Covid-19 clinical trials.

If the charity and industry-funded trial is successful, it may pave the way for a new treatment to prevent or alleviate the impact of Covid-19 in people on dialysis, people who have had a kidney transplant, and people with auto-immune diseases affecting the kidneys.

Professor Jeremy Hughes, kidney doctor and chair of trustees at Kidney Research UK, one of the charities funding the trial, said: "Sadly, data collected before the vaccine rollout began showed one in five kidney patients receiving dialysis in hospital or who have a kidney transplant and tested positive for the virus died within four weeks.

In the UK around 64,000 people receive dialysis treatment or have had a kidney transplant.