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European Covid-19 trial to span eight countries

Image: fernandozhiminaicela, via Pixabay

Researchers planning to test treatments for Covid-19 on 3,200 people with the respiratory disease

Researchers in eight European countries have launched a randomised clinical trial to test treatments for the Covid-19 respiratory disease. The pandemic has now infected more than 300,000 people globally and killed more than 12,000 in about four months.

The Discovery trial, which is being led by France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Inserm, began recruiting people with the disease on 22 March and will include 3,200 patients from Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

“The great strength of this trial is its ‘adaptive’ nature,” said Florence Ader, the researcher leading the trial, who works at the Lyon University Hospital and the CIRI International Research Centre in Infectiology. “We will therefore be able to make changes in real time, in line with the most recent scientific data, in order to find the best treatment for our patients."

The trial will complement a more global trial called Solidarity being led by the World Health Organization, according to Inserm. It will test five treatment modalities using various combinations of the drugs hydroxy-chloroquine, lopinavir, remdesivir, ritonavir and interferon beta.