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A clinical trial to test whether Azithromycin, a commonly used antibiotic, can treat the symptoms of COVID-19 in outpatients has recruited its first patient.

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The ATOMIC2 trial, which is being led from Oxford, will enrol 800 people who are being assessed at hospital with COVID-19 but felt well enough to be cared for at home. Half will receive Azithromycin for two weeks, while the rest will get regular care. Participants will also give samples of blood and samples from the nose so researchers can better understand the biology of the virus.

The first participant in the trial was recruited at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital on Wednesday (3 June).

The trial, which has received funding from the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), as well as the University of Oxford and Pfizer, will take place across 15 sites across England, Wales and Scotland. It complements two other national trials – RECOVERY and PRINCIPLE – which are testing Azithromycin in different categories of patients.

The trial’s Chief Investigator is Dr Tim Hinks of the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine and an Oxford BRC Senior Fellow. He said: “Azithromycin is an antibiotic with unusual anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, so it is being seen as a promising potential treatment for COVID-19.

Read the full story on the NIHR Oxford BRC website