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RECOVERY trial shows tocilizumab reduces deaths in patients hospitalised with COVID-19


RECOVERY trial shows tocilizumab reduces deaths in patients hospitalised with COVID-19

  • Trial finds that widely available arthritis drug can save lives and shorten hospital stays
  • Participants at Northampton General Hospital thanked for involvement in vital trial

Patients at Northampton General Hospital have been thanked for taking part in a research trial that has helped to find a drug that can be used to treat people with COVID-19.

Staff at the hospital have been working to deliver a series of Urgent Public Health studies into COVID-19, as part of the research response to the pandemic led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). During the past year, many COVID-19 patients at the hospital have taken part in different research studies to help experts understand more about the disease.

Research taking place has included the RECOVERY trial, and results announced from the trial today show that tocilizumab, a widely available arthritis treatment, can save lives, shorten hospital stays and decrease the likelihood of COVID-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation.

So far, more than 35,000 patients at 177 hospital sites across the country have taken part in the RECOVERY trial. Northampton General Hospital ranks amongst the top sites in the country for recruiting COVID-19 patients to take part in the trial.

Matthew Metcalfe, Medical Director said “We are incredibly grateful to all COVID-19 patients in Northampton who have taken part in vital research during the past year. The determination of patients to be part of research helping to identify treatments to reduce the impact of COVID-19 has been inspiring, and it is positive to see that everyone’s hard work is now paying off”.

Kay Faulkner, Associate Director Research, Innovation and Education added “Research relies on a successful partnership between patients and staff, and I also want to thank our research staff for their enormous efforts over the past year to enable us to conduct vital research whilst maintaining the highest standards of patient care. Today’s results are testament to the role our research team have played locally and seeing the findings will give everyone involved a boost.”

Last year, the RECOVERY study was the world’s first to show that dexamethasone - a cheap and available steroid - reduces the risk of dying from COVID-19.

The latest results from the study also suggests that for COVID-19 patients who have significant inflammation and require oxygen, a combination of a systemic corticosteroid - such a dexamethasone - alongside tocilizumab reduces mortality by about one third for patients requiring simple oxygen and nearly one-half for those requiring invasive mechanical ventilation.

Posted on Friday 12th February 2021
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