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.
Video courtesy of NIHR

On International Clinical Trials Day, the RECOVERY Trial team are reflecting on an unprecedented collaboration that has seen over 10,000 patients enrolled in the world’s largest trial of potential COVID-19 treatments.

20 May is the anniversary of recruitment into what is thought to be the first clinical trial in 1747. At a time when scurvy was rife among seamen, James Lind, then a surgeon’s mate on the HMS Salisbury, followed a hunch that it was caused by putrefaction of the body. Lind noted that ‘No physician conversant with this disease at sea had undertaken to throw light upon the subject’. He recruited 12 sailors and allocated two men to each of six different treatments (vinegar, nutmeg, oranges and lemons, sea water, cider, and elixir of vitriol) and found that those given oranges and lemons experienced ‘the most sudden and good visible effects.’

273 years later, clinical research at Oxford University is at the forefront of global efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The RECOVERY Trial is the world’s biggest trial of potential COVID-19 treatments and the fastest ever recruiting individually randomised controlled trial. It was set up in record time, taking just nine days from conception to launch, and has recruited over 10,000 patients in 176 UK hospitals in just two months.

Read the full story on the RECOVERY Trial website

Read more about how the RECOVERY Trial was set-up

Similar stories

Drug could help diabetic hearts recover after heart attack - Oxford research

Researchers at the University of Oxford have identified a drug that could ultimately help improve heart function in people with diabetes who have heart attacks.

Largest ever global study of tuberculosis identifies genetic causes of drug resistance

Using cutting-edge genomic sequencing techniques, researchers at the University of Oxford have identified almost all the genomic variation that gives people resistance to 13 of the most common tuberculosis (TB) drug treatments.

Peter Horby receives prestigious award for outstanding service to public health

The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) has awarded its prestigious Alwyn Smith Prize to Professor Sir Peter Horby (Nuffield Department of Medicine) for 2020/2021 in recognition of his outstanding service to public health as a global leader in epidemic science.

Six new Fellowships announced as part of Oxford-Bristol Myers Squibb Fellowships Programme

The Oxford - Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) Fellowships Programme continued to demonstrate significant progress over the last year, despite the challenges associated with the global pandemic, including restricted lab access and work from home guidance. Today, we are pleased to announce six new Oxford-BMS Fellowships for 2021.

Researchers set out steps to address mental health effects of the pandemic on young people

Researchers have outlined 14 steps that schools, mental health services and policymakers can take to help children and young people whose mental health has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anti-cancer drug derived from fungus shows promise in clinical trials

A new industry-academic partnership between the University of Oxford and biopharmaceutical company NuCana as found that chemotherapy drug NUC-7738, derived from a Himalayan fungus, has 40 times greater potency for killing cancer cells than its parent compound.