Volunteers needed for groundbreaking Covid treatment trial in the South West

Volunteers from the South West are needed for a groundbreaking new coronavirus trial.

People from South West are being offered the chance to take part in a groundbreaking new Covid treatment trial.

The first-of-its-kind clinical trial will test the effectiveness of new oral antiviral treatments against coronavirus.

It is open to people living across the region, including Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

Scientists hope the treatments - which can be taken at home - will help clinically vulnerable people recover in the community quicker as well as prevent hospital admission.

Up to 10,600 volunteers are needed for the new trial.

‘So much benefit to South West’

Professor Michael Gibbons, who is the clinical director for the NIHR Clinical Research Network South West Peninsula (CRN SWP), said: “I’m incredibly excited that we are participating in this innovative study. 

“We are able to offer novel antiviral therapies to our population, in the community. In doing so we are hopeful these treatments will halt Covid-19 at an earlier stage, reducing and/or preventing hospitalisation. 

“This study offers much potential benefit to our population in the South West Peninsula.”

The study will bring together GP practices, NHS 111, Test and Trace, care home, pharmacies and other social care providers.

The trial will bring together different health providers including GPs, pharmacies and Test and Trace (pictured). Credit: PA

People aged 50 and over, or between 18 and 49 with underlying health conditions, are eligible to apply, with up to 10,600 volunteers needed.

Some people will be contacted and asked to take part after receiving a positive PCR test result.

Professor Nick Lemoine, Medical Director of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (CRN) added: “When taken in the earliest stages of infection, these groundbreaking, purpose-designed, Covid-19 antiviral treatments hold the potential to greatly improve outcomes for patients most at risk from the disease.

“As orally-administered treatments, designed to be taken at home soon after the onset of symptoms, the drugs work by disrupting and preventing the virus from multiplying inside the body.”

For more on the study, click here.