Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Researchers from the University of Oxford have reported findings from a Phase 2 clinical trial investigating the efficacy of an investigational treatment against long COVID fatigue. The study (reported in Lancet eClinical Medicine) found participants given the treatment, developed by US pharmaceutical company Axcella Therapeutics, reported feeling less fatigued than those given a placebo.

Microscopy image of mitochondria

This is one of the first randomized double-blind placebo controlled trials of a potential long COVID treatment – AXA1125. Randomised control trials are considered to be gold standard for testing potential treatments for an illness.  

People living with long COVID in the trial who received AXA1125 had a significant improvement in fatigue compared to those who received a placebo (material matched in appearance and taste to the investigational treatment). The study was double-blind, that is, neither the patients nor the researchers working with the patients knew which patients had the treatment and which patients had a placebo.

AXA1125 was tested in long COVID fatigue as previous data from Axcella showed effects on cellular energetics and inflammation. Emerging data on long COVID suggests that the virus targets the mitochondrial, which are essential to normal energy generation and control of inflammation. AXA1125 may improve energy generation and reduce the amount of inflammation in the body.

Of the 41 patients taking part in this study, half had the investigational treatment (an orange-flavoured powder dissolved in water) twice daily for four weeks, while the other half had a placebo. On average, patients had symptoms of fatigue for about 18 months prior to entering the study. All the patients who started the study completed it, and none reported serious adverse effects of either the treatment or the placebo.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website

Similar stories

COVID-19 phone apps shown to provide real-time information on the spread of infectious diseases

Researchers analysing data from mobile phone apps used during the COVID-19 pandemic found that digital contact tracing provides rich insights into epidemic dynamics with unprecedented resolution and speed, revealing how transmission varied by day of the week, gatherings during the 2021 Christmas period, and the UEFA Euro football tournament in July 2021