More than 400 COVID-19 patients take part in MFT research trials

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) has recruited more than 400 patients to research trials in an attempt to better understand and treat COVID-19.

MFT is currently recruiting to five coronavirus research studies, with more in set-up and due to open imminently spanning four workstreams – treatments, observational, diagnostics, and data.

Dr Tim Felton, Honorary Consultant at Wythenshawe Hospital and Senior Lecturer in the Division of Infection, Immunity and Respiratory Medicine at The University of Manchester, is the Clinical Lead for all MFT COVID-19-related research studies. 

Dr Felton said: “MFT has a long history of leading and delivering cutting-edge clinical research and forging strong collaborations with organisations such as The University of Manchester.

“Manchester also benefits from an excellent region-wide research infrastructure, including the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility which translate scientific breakthroughs into diagnostic tests and life-saving treatments, which has allowed us to rapidly start recruiting patients into trials for COVID-19.”

MFT are part of the national study looking at potential treatments for coronavirus, RECOVERY, which opened last week (31 March) and is recruiting patients at both Wythenshawe Hospital and the Manchester Royal Infirmary.

There are currently no anti-viral medicines or vaccinations approved for the treatment or prevention of human coronaviruses, but RECOVERY is testing three existing therapies as potential treatments for COVID-19, including Lopinavir-Ritonavir (commonly used to treat HIV) low-dose Dexamethasone (a type of steroid, which is used in a range of conditions typically to reduce inflammation), and Hydroxychloroquine (related to an anti-malarial drug).

Researchers working on our four observational studies are looking at patients with coronavirus and studying their symptoms and outcomes, with the hope that more can be understood about the virus, including how quickly the virus is spreading.

Dr Felton said: “Alongside the treatment and observational workstreams, our diagnostic workstream is looking at better ways of diagnosing infection and whether we can bring those diagnostic tests closer to patients.

“Our data workstream is looking at all the data we record within the hospital to establish how we can move patients around our hospitals more effectively, make best use of resources and detect patients earlier when they are potentially deteriorating.

“I’d like to thank our patients for taking part in our studies, and to staff from across MFT for helping recruit to them, all of whom are playing a vital role in helping us understand more about and tackle COVID-19.”