Local GPs and healthcare professionals have begun enrolling participants across North East and North Cumbria to a first-of-its-kind clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of new oral antiviral treatments for Covid-19, which can be safely taken at home.
It is hoped the treatments could help clinically vulnerable people with Covid-19 recover sooner, prevent the need for hospital admission and ease the burden on the NHS.
People who receive a positive PCR test will be contacted by the trial team or a local healthcare professional, such as a GP or a research nurse, to consider enrolling in the study. Alternatively, anyone who meets the eligibility criteria can also sign up online.
Named 'Platform Adaptive trial of NOvel antiviRals for eArly treatMent of covid-19 In the Community' (PANORAMIC), the study is looking for people over 18 with underlying health conditions that make them clinically more vulnerable. All participants also need to have had a positive test and be within five days of the onset of symptoms.
Participants take part from their own homes and will keep a daily diary for 28 days.
Health leaders involved in the programme say earlier trials have shown the new antivirals to be safe and effective in treating Covid-19, but the trial will deliver more data is needed on how well they work in populations that are largely vaccinated - as we have in the UK.