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May 01, 2020 Friday 03:19:56 AM IST

Sheffield joins national PRINCIPLE trial

International Edu News

Sheffield has enrolled its first participant in a new national trial to assess whether clinically available drugs identified as potential treatments for coronavirus can help in reducing the risks of older people becoming seriously unwell and prevent the need for hospitalisation. Led by the University of Oxford, the PRINCIPLE platform trial is recruiting participants from primary care including from a cluster of eight GP surgeries in the area who are members of the Sheffield Primary Care Research (SPCR). These GP surgeries are active clinical researchers who collaborate to identify patients who are able to take part in clinical research studies. The SPCR is led by Dr Jon Dickson, a Senior Clinical Lecturer from the University of Sheffield’s Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care and GP at Ecclesfield Group Practice.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the PRINCIPLE platform trial is one of three national priority platform trials in the UK and will begin by assessing the efficacy of a drug called hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine is a well-known drug used for conditions such as malaria and arthritis but is not currently used to treat this kind of infection. One group of participants will be given the drug treatment, and a second group will be treated using the current best available NHS guidance for at-home recovery.

Dr Dickson's research at the University focuses on health-service quality improvement interventions and delivery of research in primary care. He hopes the trial will provide new treatments that can be made available quickly to GPs to help them reduce the risk of older patients becoming seriously unwell with coronavirus.

Sheffield SCPR hopes to recruit up to 100 participants to the trial, the scope of which can expand rapidly and flexibly to include testing for other potential treatments that could also be identified as being of benefit to coronavirus patients. The trial is planning to recruit up to 3,000 patients nationally.

Eligible patients will be asked if they would like to join the trial at participating GP Surgeries in Sheffield, to find out which have enrolled, you can read more on the University of Oxford website.

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