Covid Scotland: NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde call on public to help trial new treatment

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Researchers and clinicians are recruiting members of the public to help test new Covid-19 treatment if they have been recently diagnosed with Covid-19. 

The antiviral tablet, favipiravir, is produced by Fujifilm Toyama Chemicals in Japan, and unlike many other treatments for Covid-19, it is being targeted at those in the early stages of the disease.

The treatment must be taken within four days of a positive Covid-19 test – so health officials are calling on members of the public who have been recently diagnosed to come forward.

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Prof Rob Jones, Director of the CRUK Clinical Trials Unit, Glasgow, and Chief Investigator of the study said: “If you have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 and would like to contribute to ground breaking research, please get in touch.

“We are looking for people who have just recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 – within four days of a positive COVID-19 test result.

 “We are looking to see whether this antiviral treatment will help kill off the virus and prevent more serious complications.”

The treatment can be taken at home and is intended for people with milder symptoms than those requiring hospital treatment.

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The study, Glasgow Early Treatment Arm Favipiravir (GETAFIX), is led by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the University of Glasgow, and will assess the effectiveness of the drug to help with symptoms and reduce the time it takes to recover from Covid-19.

Three NHSGGC hospitals are taking part including Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Royal Alexandra Hospital – as well as an outpatient facility for patients treated in the community.

Dr Janet Scott (MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research) said: “This drug is active against many viruses, it is used already for influenza in Japan.

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“We are able to offer the trial not just to patients in hospital but also for home use.

“Our hope is that it will stop mild symptoms developing into serious ones.”

The antiviral treatment is taken in tablet form, and half the patients involved will receive the drug twice a day for 10 days alongside standard treatment, while the other half receiving standard treatment for comparison.

The study is organised by Glasgow University and supported by the Glasgow Clinical Research Facility and funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government. 

To find out more information and see if you are eligible, visit: http://www.getafix-trial.org.uk/

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