Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed today that one of six drugs that are being tested to tackle coronavirus in the UK is being tested on patients.

Although the Department of Health did not say the drug was scrapped after the second phase of testing, they did disclose that compounds Bemcetinib, MEDI3506 and Acalabrutinib are being considered to treat the virus.

Bemcetinib is an experimental cancer drug that is currently undergoing research, while MEDI3506 is used against both solid and blood cancers.

Meanwhile, Acalabrutinib is a medication used to treat a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, known as mantle cell lymphoma.

It & # 39; fast & # 39; upscale national initiative will accelerate the development of new drugs for patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19, and take the time to initiate clinical trials for new therapies from months to just weeks and help relieve pressure ; to reduce the NHS.

Six potential nurses will enter the program initially, with the first of these early Phase 2 studies on the UK immediately.

Phase 2 studies focus on testing a medication for patients to assess how effective it is while elaborating on the side effects.

Doctors are scrambling to find a treatment that can help cure or cure the disease that has killed more than 21,000 people in Britain.

Re-evaluating one that is already being used to treat another disease would be the best way to do this, in order to save time on clinical trials and licensing.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said one drug that is being tested is promised to give enough results to be moved to the next phase of testing



The Principle trial studies people aged 50 to 64 who have COVID-19 symptoms and a chronic health condition such as heart disease, asthma or cancer.

It is unclear how many patients participate.

It is also open to those aged 65 or older, with or without other diseases.

The first drug to be administered is hydroxychloroquine, sold as Plaquenil. Other potential treatments will be used if they are promising in pre-clinical studies.

The study is conducted at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Center (RSC) in Surrey.

It will last until March next year.


The randomized evaluation of COV-id19 THERAPY (RECOVERY) trial is performed by the University of Oxford.

It will test the HIV drug lopinavir / ritonavir, on a brand like Kaletra and Aluvia, hydroxychloroquine, a malaria medication sold as Plaquenil, and dexamethasone, a type of steroid use in a range of conditions to reduce inflammation.

Almost 1,000 patients from 132 different hospitals have been recruited in 15 days.

Thousands more are expected to participate in & # 39; in the coming weeks, making it the largest randomized controlled trial of possible COVID-19 treatments in & # 39; e world.

Definitive results on whether the treatments are safe and effective within months are expected, and if they were positive, they could potentially benefit hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.


The REMAP-CAP trial is an international effort, with more than 50 research teams around the world participating.

It specifically looks for patients who develop community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) as a result of viral infections.

The study will test 16 drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir / ritonavir and interferon beta, all of which have shown promise in pre-clinical studies.

Between 2,000 and 4,000 patients will be enrolled.

Speaking at & # 39; s coronavirus briefing this afternoon, Mr Hancock said scientists were not & # 39; In the UK, a number of & # 39; promised candidates & # 39; found.

He said, & # 39; Currently, six different treatments have been introduced into national clinical trials and the first is ready to enter the next stage, a new early-stage clinical trial platform that we are launching today. & # 39;

Funded by the Department of Health and UK Research and Innovation, the program – known as the ACCORD (Accelerating COVID-19 Research & Development Platform) – aims to get an early indication of the effectiveness of medical treatments in treating of coronavirus.

If positive results are seen, these drugs will progress rapidly in large-scale trials currently in the country.

Further potential treatments will soon be fed into ACCORD as the program rolls out over the next few weeks.

Early hopes for treatments included a lupus and rheumatoid arthritis drug called hydroxychloroquine and an antiviral designed for Ebola called remdesivir.

Trials on those two have so far returned mixed results, but countries around the world are testing them under the leadership of the World Health Organization.

Hydroxycholoroquine is being tested in three studies in the UK.

One is a study conducted by the Royal College of General Practitioners for patients older than 50 who develop COVID-19 symptoms.

It is done on an unknown number of people, of whom the under-65's should all have a long state of health, such as asthma or heart disease to qualify.

Another trial, called RECOVERY, will test hydroxychloroquine, as well as others like the HIV drug lopinavir / ritonavir, and a steroid called dexamethasone, on thousands of patients from more than 100 different NHS hospitals.

The RECOVERY trial, conducted by the University of Oxford, is the largest to date in the UK and results could be returned within months.

The third major trial of Britain, called REMAP-CAP, is part of an international effort that people will study who develop pneumonia after catching the coronavirus. It will test 16 drugs on those patients, including hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir / ritonavir.

Another clinical trial that is done in NHS hospitals is not drug testing, per se, but is investigating whether COVID-19 patients can benefit from injection with immune cells taken from patients who have not already recovered from the virus. .

The Blood Plasma Therapy trial is performed with the help of the NHS Blood & Transplant Service and involves gathering immune cells from people who have recovered, and providing a sterilizing treatment to give to people who & # 39; # 39; t are currently sick.

The treatment, known as convalescent plasma, has been in principle for more than 100 years and can work by stimulating the patient's immune system.

Doctors scramble to find a treatment that can help cure or delay the disease that has devastated Britain

Doctors scramble to find a treatment that can help cure or delay the disease that has devastated Britain

Repurposing drugs already used to treat other diseases would be best to save time on clinical trials and licensing

Repurposing drugs already used to treat other diseases would be best to save time on clinical trials and licensing

A drug designed to fight Ebola, called remdesivir, had been a promising option, but was reported last week that its first clinical trial in China has failed. Results for patients who are taking it seem to be mixed.

Documents accidentally published by the World Health Organization suggested the trial had not worked for days, after one in Chicago said it required patients' symptoms and helped them to leave the hospital earlier.

Trials in the UK were announced by the manufacturer, Gilead, at the beginning of this month and run over 15 medical clinics in the & # 39; t United Kingdom.

In another announcement on medicine today, Mr Hancock said the government would relax the laws on sharing medicines in nursing homes.

He said staff in nursing and residential homes can now use prescription drugs to treat a resident for whom they were not originally prescribed in certain circumstances if they were otherwise thrown away.

He said this would help the houses & # 39; enable drugs & # 39; of medicine.

Mr. Hancock also announced that routine coronavirus swab testing will now be available to anyone who does not work or live in a nursing home or hospital, despite having COVID-19 symptoms.

And tests will also be available to anyone over the age of 65 who has a high temperature like a new cough, and to people who do not live with it.


Vaccine candidates produced by the University of Oxford and Imperial College London are in the late stages of development. The vaccine in Oxford has already been tested in human trials and Imperial College & # 39; s will begin in June.

The science behind both vaccine efforts depends on re-creating the & # 39; e & # 39; spike & # 39; proteins that & # 39; t over the outer half of & # 39; a COVID-19 virus can be found.

Both will try to repair or imitate these spikes in the body. The difference between the two is how they achieve this effect.

Imperial College London will attempt to deliver genetic material (RNA) from the coronavirus that programs cells in the patient's body to restore the spike proteins. It will transport the RNA transported in liquid droplets injected into the bloodstream.

The team at & # 39; the University of Oxford, at & # 39; on the other hand, a virus will genetically manipulate to resemble the coronavirus – to have the same spike proteins on the outside – but can not cause infection in a person.

This virus, weakened by genetic engineering, is a type of virus called an adenovirus, the same as those that do not get colds, which is taken from chimpanzees.

If the vaccines can successfully mimic the spikes in a person's bloodstream, and stimulate the immune system to make special antibodies to attack it, then this can train the body to destroy the true coronavirus if they are in the & # 39; # 39; be infected in the future.

The same process is thought to happen to people who don't catch COVID-19 for real, but this is much more dangerous – a vaccine will have the same endpoint, but without causing disease in the process.

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