More than 5,000 vulnerable people have enrolled for the ground-breaking Platform Adaptive trial of Novel antivirals for early treatment of Covid-19 In the Community (PANORAMIC) study on life-saving antivirals.
With this the UK is now one step closer to rolling out the innovative medicines, which would help reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of hospitalization or death.
Success of the study would eventually help to ease pressures on the NHS.
Anyone over the age of 50 or between 18 to 49 with certain underlying health conditions can participate in the trial after receiving a positive PCR or lateral flow test result.
The UK-wide PANORAMIC study, run by the University of Oxford and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the devolved administrations, now has 5,171 participants.
Through the Antivirals Taskforce, the government has so far procured 4.98 million courses of antivirals, including 2.23 million courses of molnupiravir and 2.75 million courses of PF-07321332+ritonavir.
Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: “The UK is leading the way when it comes to antivirals and this is a landmark milestone for the deployment of these cutting-edge treatments – which will be crucial as we learn to live with the virus by keeping our most vulnerable safe if they catch it.
“The PANORAMIC study is vital in helping our medical experts to develop plans for rolling these treatments out more widely later this year. If you test positive for Covid-19 and are eligible, please sign up as soon as possible.”
The government, along with leading charities such as Kidney Care UK, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Diabetes UK and the British Liver Trust, have called for at least 6,000 more participants to take part in the study.
Urging more people to enroll for the study, professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, said, “closer to 20,000 volunteers may be needed to get an accurate answer, so please keep coming forward if you get Covid-19 over the next few days, weeks and months.
“You can make a real difference in helping us work out how best to use Covid-19 antiviral drugs for many years to come.
“These drugs are already approved by the MHRA, but we need to see how much benefit they give to already vaccinated patients.”