First MFT patient takes part in adaptive COVID-19 trial – ‘ACCORD 2’

Our first patient has taken part in a new clinical trial investigating potential treatments for COVID-19, as part of a nationwide research effort to meet the challenge of coronavirus.

ACCORD 2 is an adaptive platform study, designed to rapidly assess multiple existing treatments – which may help people hospitalised COVID-19 – at the same time.

Nationally, potential drug therapies will be added to the study as they are identified, and removed once they have completed their evaluation. At MFT, the study currently includes the drug ‘Bemcentinib’, with the view that more potential COVID-19 treatments could be added as the study progresses.

At our Trust, ACCORD 2 is taking place at Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) and Wythenshawe Hospital. The first MFT patient was enrolled on the trial at the MRI this week.

Dr Alex Horsley, Respiratory Consultant at Wythenshawe Hospital and Medical Director of the NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at Wythenshawe, is leading the study. While Prof Maya Buch, Honorary Consultant and Professor of Rheumatology at The University of Manchester, leads the study at the MRI.

Dr Horsley said: “Bemcetinib is a drug which has shown promise in clinical trials as a potential cancer treatment. However, it also works in two ways that we think will be helpful as a treatment against COVID-19. Firstly, it acts to block a receptor on the surface of cells which the virus uses to infect those cells. Secondly, it is then thought to prevent the virus from turning off those cells’ own anti-viral responses.

The primary aim of this study is to speed up the time it takes patients’ coronavirus symptoms to improve, ultimately enabling them to be discharged from hospital and continue their rehabilitation at home, or in an appropriate step-down facility – which is good for our patients, but also for the NHS.


A number of COVID-19 studies are taking place at MFT, spanning four key areas: data, diagnostics, observation and treatments. ACCORD 2 is one of our treatments trials, open to our COVID-19 patients who are receiving oxygen support, but are not receiving mechanical forms of ventilation and do not have certain other additional conditions.

Dr Horsley added: “MFT has long-established history of being at the cutting-edge of research and innovation, and I am proud that we are now harnessing this expertise to contribute to the global effort to meet the challenge posed by COVID-19.

“To date, almost 3,700 people have taken part in wide-ranging COVID-9 research taking place at our Trust, which includes coronavirus patients being cared for in our hospitals, as well as some MFT staff and people in the local community. We are grateful to every research participant, who are all playing a role in increasing global understanding of this pandemic.”

ACCORD 2 has been designated as an Urgent Public Health COVID-19 study by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

It is sponsored by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and is funded by NIHR and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The study is also supported by the NIHR Respiratory Translational Research Collaboration and, in Manchester, is being delivered by the NIHR Manchester CRF and the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre, working in collaboration with Research and Innovation at MFT.