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Surrey hospital trust launches trial for licensed drug to treat COVID-19 patients

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Surrey hospital trust launches trial for licensed drug to treat COVID-19 patients

Published by Laura Scardarella at 3:15pm 10th June 2020.

Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals have announced that a trial using a licensed drug will begin treating patients with coronavirus. 

The Research and Development team at the hospitals group, with the support of a £10 million fund from LifeArc, will begin using Leflunomide to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The Surrey-based hospitals led the trial after receiving funding for their research programme, 'DEFEAT-COVID'. 

Leflunomide, known as a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug, has already been implemented in a pilot study in Wuhan, China, proving to be successful on patients with severe symptoms of coronavirus.

In the study, the licensed drug has shown that compared to the placebo arm, Leflunomide has drastically reduced recovery time for patients.

Dr David Fluck, Medical Director at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals’, explained:

"The global COVID-19 pandemic has put immense pressure on clinicians and scientists to have new treatments readily available for patients:

"I am immensely proud of our team for their pioneering contribution to designing this study and procuring the funding to execute it from within our Trust.”

Melanie Lee, CEO of LifeArc, added that she is hopeful this funding will help address the urgent need for new treatment options:

“As an independent medical charity with expertise in medical translation, LifeArc could rapidly offer the resources to evaluate proposals and financially support studies with the best chance of improving outcomes patients with Covid-19."