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Radcliffe Department of Medicine researcher Dr Betty Raman is leading a new phase 2a clinical trial to investigate whether a drug could treat the fatigue and muscle weakness experienced by many patients who have recovered from COVID. The drug, AXA1125, is developed by the US-based biotechnology company Axcella Therapeutics.

Schematic drawing showing sitting male figure with mask, surrounded by COVID like particles.

More than 240 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide to date, and a US study estimated that a nearly a quarter of US COVID-19 patients suffer long-term effects from the virus. This constellation of long term symptoms is collectively called long COVID.

Fatigue and muscle weakness is the commonly reported symptom in long COVID patients, and a dysfunction in the mitochondria (the cell’s energy factories) is one potential explanation for these symptoms.

“Long COVID is having a truly devastating impact on countless people around the world, leaving many with a sense of hopelessness. It is widely recognized that mitochondrial dysfunction may contribute to the profound fatigue associated with this condition,” said lead researcher Dr. Betty Raman, British Heart Foundation Oxford Centre for Research Excellence Transition Clinical Intermediate Fellow (Radcliffe Department of Medicine). “With no approved Long COVID therapies, the need for continued innovation is urgent. I am pleased to be leading an investigation of AXA1125 to understand its potential to restore cellular energetics and address patients’ needs.”

Read the full story on the Radcliffe Department of Medicine website

The story is also featured on the University of Oxford website

 

 

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