Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen some extraordinary medical feats and achievements, which are being rightly celebrated. Researchers at Oxford University have been at the forefront of global efforts, including the first human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the world’s biggest trial of potential COVID-19 treatments, RECOVERY. 

The Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY (RECOVERY) Trial has recruited more than 10,000 patients in 176 hospitals in just two months - truly incredible figures for that timescale, making it the fastest ever recruiting individually randomised controlled trial. From conception to launch took just nine days! The trial is being co-led by Professor Peter Horby (Nuffield Department of Medicine) and Professor Martin Landray (Nuffield Department of Population Health), and is testing existing drugs, all with well-known side effects and confirmed safety, on hospital inpatients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. 

Each participant is randomised via a secure 24/7 web-based system. Participants receive either the usual standard of hospital care, or one of four drugs - lopinavir-ritonavir, normally used to treat HIV, the steroid dexamethasone (or alternative corticosteroids), used in a wide range of conditions to reduce inflammation, hydroxychloroquine, which is mainly used as an anti-malarial drug and the antibiotic azithromycin. The study allows a second randomisation for patients with progressive COVID-19, who receive the usual standard of care or tocilizumab, an immunosuppressive drug. The researchers will be able to fairly compare each of the treatments with usual standard of care and work out which, if any, make a difference. The trial design is flexible and as new treatments are suggested or become available, it can be adapted to accommodate them. Indeed, azithromycin, tocilizumab and most recently, convalescent plasma (CP) arms were added after the trial began recruitment; CP is about to be offered on top of the main first line randomisation options. 

Read more on the Nuffield Department of Population Health website

Similar stories

NHS garden in full bloom at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The sun was shining for the RHS Chelsea Flower show press day earlier this week. One garden in particular bloomed particularly brightly, with the 'Finding Our Way: An NHS Tribute Garden' getting plenty of attention.

University of Oxford launches Podium Analytics Institute for Youth Sports Medicine and Technology

Oxford University has been selected as the home of the new Podium Analytics Institute for Youth Sports Medicine and Technology. This will be the world’s first academic Institute focused on young athletes’ safety and lifelong health and will combine Oxford’s longstanding tradition in sports and education with the very best of science, medicine, and technology.

QCovid highly commended for ‘best use of technology in Patient Safety’ at the 2021 HSJ Patient Safety Awards

Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox and her team in Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences have been Highly Commended in the ‘Best use of technology in Patient Safety’ category for the QCovid risk calculator at this year’s Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards.

New guidelines to improve reporting standards of studies that investigate causal mechanisms

Researchers in the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) have developed a new set of guidelines for reporting mediation analyses in health research.

Prestigious award for Oxford professor's diabetes work

A University of Oxford professor has been awarded the 2021 EASD-Novo Nordisk Foundation Prize for Excellence for his decades of effort to understand, prevent and combat type 1 diabetes.