UHB part of globally-leading trial leading to first COVID-19 treatment drug

24 June 2020

Dozens of patients across University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust have taken part in the NIHR study RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluaation of COVid-19 thERapY), which has identified the first successful treatment option for some coronavirus patients.

Results showed that the steroid dexamethesaone significantly reduces the risk of dying from Covid-19 for seriously ill patients who require oxygen.

The widely available, low cost drug could save thousands of lives in the future. The trial’s findings showed that the steroid reduced the risk of dying by one-third in ventilated patients and by one fifth in other patients receiving other forms of oxygen support.

Across our sites, more than 200 patients have taken part in RECOVERY, with over 11,000 recruited across the country so far. The trial is led nationally by the University of Oxford, with co-leads Professor Peter Horby and Professor Martin Landray.

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and co-leader of the NIHR said: “This is the most important trial result for COVID-19 so far. It shows significant reduction in mortality in those requiring oxygen or ventilation from a widely available, safe and well known drug.

“We should all be grateful to the patients who volunteered and those who made this trial possible. It will save lives around the world.”

Professor Jeremy Kirk, Clinical Director of the NIHR CRN West Midlands, added: “This is a major breakthrough and we pay tribute to all those involved in setting up this study in record time.

“It’s important to note that the study continues with other drugs still being tested, including in pregnant women and children with Covid-19.”

The RECOVERY trial is ongoing with other drugs and treatments still being tested. So far, more than 3,000 patients at UHB have taken part in COVID-19 research, with the Trust the leading recruiter to NIHR-approved trials nationally.