Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT): insights with Dr Ashley Price
An international trial which recruited patients in Newcastle Hospitals shows improved recovery rate
Results announced last week have shown that patients given the Ebola drug Remdesivir in the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT) trial were found to have a recovery rate that was nearly a third faster than those given placebo.
The trial involved more than 70 hospitals across the world, working together to assess this potential treatment for COVID-19. One of the hospitals involved was host for the NIHR Newcastle BRC, the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, specifically using the dedicated NIHR Clinical Research Facility to support volunteers from Newcastle.
A total of forty-six patients in the UK participated in the European arm of the study, and Dr Ashley Price, Principal Investigator for the Newcastle Hospitals site has spoken of the amazing collaborative effort in setting up and running the trial, especially given the challenges of conducting quality research in such an unprecedented situation.
Dr Price said:
It’s a huge achievement on both a national and international level to be able to conduct a trial of this quality in the middle of a global pandemic. A randomised, double blind study is the best quality research we can conduct, and undertaking this during these circumstances is a fantastic achievement.
Dr Price went on to pay tribute to the impressive joint effort by the research and development team, research nurses, study co-ordinators, principal and sub investigators in setting up and delivering the research. He also credited the success of the collaborative effort to good preparation, including lessons learned from the 2009 swine flu pandemic.
Preparation was key to the delivery of this trial. This is something that has happened over a number of years and has given not just Newcastle, but the whole of the UK the ability to understand the crucial role of research during a pandemic.
Dr Price was keen to note that while these results are encouraging, the full results are not yet released and there is still much work to be done before the drug can be made available to those who need it most. The next step will be discovering which patients will see the most benefits from the drug and this may require further study.
Article adapted, with thanks from the Newcastle Join Research Office